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Apple Patent Strongly Suggests iPod Phone

December 5, 2006

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An iPod phone now appears inevitable, and bets are being placed on details like pricing, release date, and form factor.

Just recently, Apple filed a patent outlining a mobile device that “may correspond to the iPod,” a development that largely confirms earlier speculation.

The filing, recently made public, was originally filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in August. The application describes a “tube-like” player constructed with “zirconia” and “alumina,” and a device that would be “cost effective, smaller, lighter, stronger and aesthetically more pleasing” than competitive mobile music phones.

So when will this iPhone hit the streets? Predictions vary, though some are pointing to an unveiling at the Macworld Conference & Expo in January.

Others suggest a later date, though most expect a release within the first two quarters of next year.

It appears that Cingular Wireless will carry the device within the United States, though the mobile company refused to comment on the possibility.

Meanwhile, new information on the specifications of the device was released by Kevin Rose, of Digg and Diggnation fame.

He has apparently confirmed information he knew about the iPhone on his eponymous vidcast. According to Kevin, who, to his credit, accurately predicted one of Apple‘s most secretive and hyped launches of 2005, the iPod nano, the iPhone will be available in two models, of 2 GB and 4 GB capacities, at prices of $249 and $449.

He also stated that the device “will have a slide out keyboard, a touch screen and two batteries (one for the MP3 player, one for the phone)” and it could resemble the iPod mini.

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