updated 11:55 am EDT, Tue August 11, 2009
Clickwheel iPhone patent
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted several patents to Apple, among which are three notable ones. These cover the music backup process in iTunes, as well as a power adapter equipped with a FireWire port and a detachable plug. The third deals with a clickwheel phone interface, which in diagrams is associated not with the iPhone, but the iPod classic.
Users would glide around a number wheel to dial, and scroll through letters and symbols to compose a text message. The patent was originally filed for in July 2006, and may document an aborted concept for the original iPhone, ultimately released in the summer of 2007. Apple has also filed for a trademark on the App Store logo, used as an icon on current iPhones and iPod touches.