updated 10:40 am EDT, Thu August 7, 2008
'iPhone nano' accessory?
Rumors of an impending "iPhone nano" announcement may have some validity to them, new patent information may suggest. Digital Lifestyle Outfitters, known for its iPod and full-sized iPhone accessories, has recently had a patent application published for a new dock, meant to support a "telephonic portable digital media storage and playback device."
Notably, the player depicted in the patent somewhat resembles the dimensions of the third-generation iPod nano or the iPod classic, but with dialing buttons lain over top of the clickwheel. The patent could merely be outdated, as it was first submitted in 2006, when the design of the standard iPhone was unknown to the public; at the same time however, Apple has often given sneak peeks to prospective hardware makers, and DLO does not have an iPhone dock that closely resembles the patent model. Companies are also free to update patents over time.
While some reports have suggested that an iPhone nano could ship as soon as the Christmas season, most analysts believe that if one is in development, it will only arrive sometime in 2009.