Apple iPhone Integration and a Media Device? (Patents)

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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A search of the European Patent Office reveals a patent application from Apple entitled "Database programs for handheld devices" that was published in Feb 2006.

As advertised, the patent describes techniques for providing access to databases from handheld devices. The application, however, incidentally points out that "the remote handheld device can, for example, be a wireless phone which uses a telecom server to communicate with the database program".

Apple describes limitations in current implementations in that "the user may use a remote wireless phone to find a phone number stored in a database, but there is no convenient way for the user to place a call to that phone number." The patent application describes methods for accessing remote databases and hyperlinking relevant data (urls, phone numbers etc...) to perform tasks conveniently -- such as dialing.

The application shows images of a cell phone interface demonstrating the interactions.

While not mentioned specifically in the patent application, Apple could presumably use this method to offer live-synced Address Book functionality between a user's cell phone and their .Mac account. Apple already offers Address Book syncing between Mac OS X Tiger and .Mac.

While Apple has previously said that they did not feel they can add much value to current cell phones, it appears Apple could offer the same tight device-computer-operating system integration that has been so successful for the iPod.

Several analysts expect an Apple branded phone to appear in the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, another Apple patent application published on March 7, 2006 is entitled "Media device" and appears to date back to 2004. The description simply states "We claim the ornamental design for a media device, substantially as shown and described." This may simply represent a design for the recently released iPod nano or 5G iPod, but no images are associated with the online patent application.
 

madmaxmedia

macrumors 68030
Dec 17, 2003
2,922
33
Los Angeles, CA
Maybe that touch screen device is actually the phone? I imagine not, but still...

You'd think it would need physical buttons, but such a device would have a potentially great interface for other functions. Music, media, web browsing, photos, PDA type functions, etc.
 

nubero

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2003
187
0
Zurich
interesting: on the pictures you can see "5201 patrick henry drive santa clara"

that is the adress of filemaker inc...
 

miketcool

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2003
879
257
California
nubero said:
interesting: on the pictures you can see "5201 patrick henry drive santa clara"

that is the adress of filemaker inc...
Makes sense to me, good call out to the guys at Filemaker. The phone patent is for the ability to connect to a remote database. Isnt that what Filemaker does, database management?

I have been waiting for an awesome implication of that. A way to look at my central server without carrying all my info around. Google knows this. I hope Apple knows this. iPods will become connection devices for streaming your info. It is possible that the Mobile Me and a future iPod are the same, not a phone. Instead its a device that links you with your info. Bump up the .Mac storage, get a new center for storage, and the device that links it and its sold. I pull my iPod Mobile out and everything is there, but not. It downloads into the ram and bango, I can use it. Think about it.

"Meet the new iPod, ? songs in your pocket!"

Why carry around all your info, when you can carry the magic mirror that shows it?:rolleyes:
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
0
The interface shown already exists. It's a DoCoMo phone from NEC. (N502it is the color version.)

It's also an older phone, from 2000 or so. Odd.

[Edit: It makes more sense now. The Apple phone patent was filed back in 2002, when Apple and NTT announced their multimedia partnership.

This is a granted patent, not an application. The US patent number is 7,003,260
]
 

tny

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2003
394
37
Washington, DC

Squire

macrumors 68000
Jan 8, 2003
1,563
0
Canada
Arcady said:
Is this Phone Rumors? No, it it is Mac Rumors.

Isn't it?
And this report refers to a Mac Phone.

Doesn't it?


miketcool said:
Makes sense to me, good call out to the guys at Filemaker. The phone patent is for the ability to connect to a remote database. Isnt that what Filemaker does, database management?

I have been waiting for an awesome implication of that. A way to look at my central server without carrying all my info around. Google knows this. I hope Apple knows this. iPods will become connection devices for streaming your info. It is possible that the Mobile Me and a future iPod are the same, not a phone. Instead its a device that links you with your info. Bump up the .Mac storage, get a new center for storage, and the device that links it and its sold. I pull my iPod Mobile out and everything is there, but not. It downloads into the ram and bango, I can use it. Think about it.

"Meet the new iPod, ? songs in your pocket!"

Why carry around all your info, when you can carry the magic mirror that shows it?:rolleyes:
Good points. Or maybe the phone would just pick up the info on your iPod via wifi or Bluetooth. (Or is that what you were getting at?) Wasn't there a recent rumor of iPods with Bluetooth and/or Wifi? This idea would make it that much more credible.

-Squire

<edit>
Macrumors said:
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png

MacPrime.ch claims to have knowledge of an April 1st Special Event from Apple marking their 30th anniversary.

According to the site, Apple will be releasing a new product ("ultimate") which is related to "communication", will be available in 7 different colors, and will be immediately available.

No known history of reliability with this site. Apple has been widely speculated to hold some sort of media event surrounding April 1st, but no reliable information has confirmed it.
Hmmm...Is there a pattern here?
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
0
Murka
Arcady said:
Is this Phone Rumors? No, it it is Mac Rumors.

Isn't it?
well done there. we're on an apple rumours site - i.e. a site which caters for rumours to do with the company Apple Computer, Inc.

correct me if i'm mistaken, but this is to do with Apple. :rolleyes:

yeah it's been more than mac stuff for a long while but i don't care - more apple products = good
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,427
139
Location Location Location
miketcool said:
I have been waiting for an awesome implication of that. A way to look at my central server without carrying all my info around. Google knows this. I hope Apple knows this. iPods will become connection devices for streaming your info. It is possible that the Mobile Me and a future iPod are the same, not a phone. Instead its a device that links you with your info. Bump up the .Mac storage, get a new center for storage, and the device that links it and its sold. I pull my iPod Mobile out and everything is there, but not. It downloads into the ram and bango, I can use it. Think about it.
Yeah, I think I know what you're getting at. What I want is something .Mac and Apple can offer.


I don't want "internet", really. I don't see the point of going on the internet on my phone, and unless it was dirt cheap, I probably wouldn't use it. Instead of giving me a certain number of internet minutes that I can use on my phone, I'd rather have unlimited access to .Mac and just pay a $200 fee per year, and only have the ability to access .Mac from my phone, and with no ability to access other websites. That's enough for me. I could email from my phone using a .Mac email account, look up the info I store in Address Book.app (synced with .Mac), look at my calendar, look up any other files I store on .Mac like photos and music (although streaming songs to your phone with a slow connection would be impossible, I realize), and generally let me look at anything that I have at .Mac. It could be like a BlackBerry but without "real" web access. Raise the price if you need this service, but I think it would be worth a lot.

Also note that Apple bought a new huge storage facility full of storage clusters, I think in California. People said it might be used for the iTMS and movie downloads, but who knows. :)
 

Jason_Bryan

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2003
117
0
Sheffield, UK
It seems to me that when people talk about an Apple branded phone it is always a Mobile (Cell) Phone they are talking about. I think that with the issues that arise from having to deal with individual phone networks Apple with probably want to think different and work on something like a VoIP phone working in tandem with iChat. Apple has always pioneered wireless networks and hotspots are becoming more and more common, but beyond that the success of Skype has proved that people want to use 'internet phones in the their own homes.
 

Arcady

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2002
402
24
Lexington, KY
Squire said:
And this report refers to a Mac Phone.

Doesn't it?
No, it refers to an "iPhone" which we've been hearing about for five years, and still haven't seen. It is in the same realm as Disney buying Apple, the PowerBook G5, and anything Dvorak might come up with.

Now, if Apple were to release a phone, they would be silly to make it only work with a Mac. They already learned this lesson with the iPod. So it isn't a Mac phone.

I just don't get why people get all excited over things like a phone. You dial numbers in, and call people. What can Apple add to something like that? For me, nothing. I take whatever phone is free every two years, but I guess some people really care about what phone they have -- but care enough to justify three stories on the front page of this site?

As a side note, does anyone else think that these "analysts" are just reading these rumor sites to make up their info, and then the rumor sites are reporting on what the analyst said, and the circle is just going around and around?
 

liketom

macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
4,162
31
Lincoln,UK
mymacluvsme said:
In the UK? Interesting, indeed. This year just can't go fast enough for me....
when do we ever get it first :rolleyes: lol
iPhone is maybe a step to far , Apple make computers and great software - the only way Apple will make a iPhone is via a 3rd Party like Moto or Samsung
 

Squire

macrumors 68000
Jan 8, 2003
1,563
0
Canada
Arcady said:
No, it refers to an "iPhone" which we've been hearing about for five years, and still haven't seen. It is in the same realm as Disney buying Apple, the PowerBook G5, and anything Dvorak might come up with.
Good point. Now you're catching on to the rumors part of it. ;)

In all serious, though, whenever you see a Mac-related site, Mac is synonymous with Apple. I mean, they deal with anything remotely related to Apple, not just things affecting Apple's computers and OS X. But you already know that, right?

-Squire
 

lonepilgrim

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2006
142
0
London
Arcady said:
I just don't get why people get all excited over things like a phone. You dial numbers in, and call people. What can Apple add to something like that? For me, nothing.
That is precisely why you don't work for Apple!

Edit: And I've just seen your signature:
"The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a 'mouse.' There is no evidence that people want to use these things."
-John C. Dvorak, SF Examiner, Feb. 1984.

Oh, the irony.
 

Squire

macrumors 68000
Jan 8, 2003
1,563
0
Canada
Arcady said:
I think this site needs a page 3 for stuff like this.
It's a patent for crying out loud! Not a story passed on by the person who walks the dog of the Taiwanese shop owner down the street whose second cousin cleans the toilets in a factory that makes Apple products.

In other words, they have seriously looked into building the thing. I think it's fine on the front page. And I could never understand why people complain about what page a certain story goes on. It's placed here because of a certain degree of credibility and the amount of interest it will generate. I mean, it got you. You've posted three times already.

-Squire
 

liketom

macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
4,162
31
Lincoln,UK
Squire said:
It's a patent for crying out loud! Not a story passed on by the person who walks the dog of the Taiwanese shop owner down the street whose second cousin cleans the toilets in a factory that makes Apple products.



-Squire
:D thats funny - makes you wonder why we do not get any leaks from these so called factorys, Apple seems to have that coverd up tight


ps i am that person who walks the dog ;)
 

MacQuest

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2003
902
0
You See Dead People...
(L) said:
hmmm? An Apple phone? Won't hit big here in Japan anyway...
How's the iPod doing over there? I know that there were a lot of other portable music players available there before it...

I'm actually just wondering, because I remember hearing the reports of Sony being extremely upset with the iPod/iTunes success over their Walkman/Sony Connect music service in their own country.

Looks like Apple pulled a reverse Pearl Harbor on Sony in the portable music player amd accompanying service market.
 
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