New Apple Patent Could Spell Trouble For Android Devices

Patent number 7,966,578 could change the face of the mobile device market. The newly approved iPhone patent filed by Apple over three-years ago is for "[a] computer-implemented method, for use in conjunction with a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display, [that] comprises displaying a portion of page content, including a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also including other content of the page, on the touch screen display."

Depending on how the patent is interpreted, it could give Apple control over all capacitive screen and multitouch interface devices. Several patent experts warned that if it's not invalidated, it could allow Apple to bully other smartphone manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung and Motorolo.

Apple iPhone patent

“Unless this patent is invalidated or at least narrowed, it will be a potential impediment to innovation until December 2027,” patent expert Florian Muller told Macworld. “I don’t see any innovative achievement disclosed in that patent document that would justify a monopoly of that breadth and duration. Apple could use it in various ways throughout that period, including some that would be highly undesirable.”

The most likely "undesirable" method would be demanding high licensing fees from competitors.

iPhone Smart Bezel Coming Soon?

Thanks to Patently Apple, we recently saw how Apple could be planning a smart bezel on the iPad. Now it seems Apple engineers are also working on a similar concept for a future model iPhone. The iPhone smart bezel patent revealed by Patently Apple details some interesting features that could be added to the area surrounding the main display.

apple iphone smart bezel concept

The smart bezel is described as an area outside of the main LCD screen comprising printed segmented electroluminescence displays. Presumably these would be dark until needed, and could be illuminated in different patterns to create buttons or give the user information depending on what the iPhone was being used for at the moment. This would free up more space on the main screen.

Apple Patent Could Improve iPhone Battery Life

Apple, like everyone else, is looking to increase the battery life of its mobile devices. The lithium-ion battery found in current model iPhones takes up a large amount of space yet still often fails to meet our power-hungry needs. A patent revealed by AppleInsider could mean that better batteries are in the works.

apple iphone patent better battery life high density

Apple's idea is to make current batteries hold more energy without increasing their size. High-density power cells would also up energy density without increasing charging times or reducing minimum life cycle. A charging technique described as multi-step constant-current constant-voltage (CC-CV) would be used to achieve this higher energy density.

iPhone Nano in the Works for 2011?

Nobody can seem to get enough of the iPhone nano. Ever since the first news of a mini-iPhone patent surfaced almost four years ago, the concept refuses to disappear for more than a few months at a time. Now Bloomberg cites sources within Apple who say the smaller handset is indeed in the works.

apple iphone nano patent

According to the report, prototypes of the iPhone nano exist and have been considered as a way for Apple to increase competition against popular, cheaper Android devices. By using current-generation components Apple could reduce manufacturing costs on a new handset coming in at two-thirds the size of a normal iPhone.

Apple Patents Reveal iPhone Radio, Connector Updates?

Several Apple patents have surfaced that hint towards possible iPhone hardware updates. One patent reveals an integrated AM/FM radio tuner that would make conventional broadcast radio listening possible. Not only this, but the app design includes a radio map showing nearby radio stations and the associated musical genres.

apple iphone 5 patent fm am radio

Satellite radio is also mentioned in the patent application, as well as a radio tuner card for desktop Mac computers. The app design includes presets and a similar interface to current broadband streaming radio players.


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