updated 03:15 pm EDT, Thu May 1, 2008
Calling, cooling patents
Three Apple patent applications have surfaced at the US Patent and Trademark Office, addressing two drastically different technologies: conference calling and hardware cooling. In regards to the first Apple suggests that most cellphones have unnecessarily complex key sequences for establishing conference calls, and instead proposes a simpler, more graphically heavy interface. Notably though the patent does not depict the iPhone and its current conferencing scheme, but rather something based on the traditional iPod clickwheel.
As the patent was first submitted in October 2006, shortly before the announcement of the iPhone, it may reflect either an older, discounted device concept, or an as-yet undeveloped counterpart that could be a cheaper alternative to the present $399 and $499 phones.
For cooling Apple has proposed two separate options for portable devices, including notebooks and cellphones. In the first the company describes a basic passive cooling system, which is merely designed to let air circulate in between the electronics. The second however involves a solid-state mechanism, attached to an inner surface; the invention distributes heat evenly across the surface, and keeps it under a given temperature. The patents for both cooling methods were submitted in November of 2006.