Is Cupertino looking to make the iPhone Clam up?
According to patent applicaitons with Uncle Sam, Apple may be toying with a clamshell iPhone design that marries the multi touch screen interface with flip phone carrying convenience. The patent is for what is described as a “dual sided trackpad,” which is kinda a hand held dual screen Nintendo DS for adults. But that’s not all.
The patent is for a multi touch interface that would be useable from BOTH ssides of the screen, making it active whether the clamshell iPhone is in the open or closed position. This also gives the user a three screen functionality and interaction which makes for some rather interesting design possibilities (see the mockup below).
Now, there are those speculating that this could bring about n iPhone nano to be released … perhaps just in time for Christmas? But here’s an argument that flies in the face of that … will users want to give up that long awaited and finally culminated widescreen which shifts the image with the iPhone’s orientation? These folks love that widescreen movie watching which also makes for a nicer screen when writing documents with the multi touch pad. So I don’t think this design will replace the “classic” iPhone. But it could become popular with on the go Gen X’ers who want to listen to music and make phone calls, movies be damned.
And such an idea won’t kill the long awaited business iPhone either. Much like the Shuffle and the iPod Nano didn’t replace their grandaddy iPod, there’s plenty of room in an iPhone universe for a more compact, and yet still functional cousin.
Hat tip and photo credits: Oh Gizmo!