Patent Watch: Apple Designing Clamshell iPhone?

iPhone Clamshell

By Evan Ackerman

The difference between these renderings and every other iPhone 2.0 photochop is that these are based on a patent filled by Apple for a “dual sided trackpad.” What is a “dual sided trackpad” and why do some people think it might be included in the next (or some future) incarnation of the iPhone? Well, take a look at the actual patent:

iPhone Clamshell

So, in addition to a touch sensitive surface on the phone, the transparent clamshell flip-out screen is also a touch sensitive surface, on both sides. That gives the user three touchpads to play around with, depending on what the phone is being used for. The clamshell design allows the entire phone to be shrunk without sacrificing any functionality, although you will loose some screen space. Perfect for an iPhone Nano, perhaps? Your guess is as good as mine, but whatever this technology ends up it, it’s probably going to be something cool, and we may see it fairly soon, as the patent was filed in September of 2006, while the patent for the original iPhone was filed only four months earlier. ‘Course, that may not mean anything, but feel free to get excited anyway.

VIA [ Unwired View ]