Patents Hint at an Apple iPhone

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Rumors have been circulating for many months that Apple, Inc. is in the process of developing a combination phone and iPod. These are occasionally livened up by hints from company executives or other evidence that suggests such a device is in the pipeline.

The latest of these takes the form of a pair of patents that were approved on Thursday that many are taking as evidence that the iPhone is indeed real.

One of these, "Actuating user interface for media player" (20060250377), is for a mobile device with a touchscreen, something no current iPod has. Adding even more fuel to the fire is the fact that one of the drawings that accompanies this patent shows the user interface running on a phone.

The second new Apple patent is "Universal docking station for hand held electronic devices" (20060250764). This describes a docking station for a variety of different-size devices, "cellular phones, cameras, media players, game players and/or the like."

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Thanks to InformationWeek for the tip.

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