Apple's Multi-Function Hand-Held Patent

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

The days leading up to any Apple event are always sure to be filled with speculation and rumor mongering. This time it's a new patent by Apple covering multi-functional hand-held devices. Condensing down the patent, it basically covers either a PDA-type or phone-type handheld device. It has the hand-wavy stuff found in patent applications, but it does serve to stir up the waters for more conjecture.

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So what can this be? A PDA? PDA/Phone? iPod/Phone? Or some Cerberistic PDA/Phone/iPod that devours all other phones, music players and PDAs? It's doubtful we'll find out Sept. 12, but next year should be promising. Our guess is on the iPhone.

Apple files Multi-functional hand-held device patent application [MacNN]

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DISCUSSION

Okay....I just read that entire article (which sounded like it was plagerized directly off the patent itself), and as far as I can tell:

It might do something or some things.

I can't believe even Apple gets away with terms like "One or more touches" without any explination of HOW the multi-touch screen works. Is this to cover the concept of multi-touch screens, which have been publicaly demonstrated on Windows machines for the last two years (prior art!)?

And a device that flips through multiple functions. Really this sounds to me like a Clie PDA - you know, scroll through display modes.

This looks like they tried to patent the brainstorming session of "What might the Zune be?" from six months ago. This thing could be anything from the next newton to a mediocre laptop.

Color me un-impressed (clear acrylic over white plastic), and figure that there's very little value in this patent, since it only vaguely defines a bunch of stuff that other devices already do.

My vote is for the iPuff. It's a weed jar that looks like an Apple cigarette box. You've seen the "I'm a mac" kid, you know he's stoned for every commercial.