iPhone patent released by USPTO
Two patents published yesterday detail Apple's plans for a fully wireless-enabled iPod, described as a "portable shopping cart," that's capable of connecting to a store using mobile phone networks or WiFi networks. "Ringtones" are mentioned as one type of mobile content users of the device will be able to purchase "if the portable wireless device has cellular phone features." The wording is guarded throughout the filing. The patent also uses the phrase "non-transfer devices" to qualify the handheld, but in an explanatory note Apple describes such devices as cellular phones or PDAs.
The description of the hardware in the filing includes "one or more speakers, a microphone, headphone jack, a FireWire or USB port, flash memory slots and one or more antennae or ports used to connect to local networks." Rumors of the iPhone have long circulated the Internet and since Apple originally filed this patent in December 2004, those rumors are understandable given the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office got around to filing it yesterday. The pressure is mounting on the MP3 player industry and Apple in particular as analysts claim that mobile phones will soon eclipse the mobile music market. Apple would be wise to make an iPhone-like move soon.
For more on the iPhone patents:
- see this very detailed article from macsimumnews.com