Is Cupertino looking to make the iPhone Clam up?

by James

iPhone Patent

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).

ClamPhone Mockup

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!

3 reviews or comments

Picasso Says: March 18, 2008 at 8:39 pm

I don’t think shrinking everything is such a good idea especially if you like watching DVD movies on your iTouch or iPhones because you can only take so much squinting before it becomes bothersome. The IPhone is perfect size as is because you wants to play games or watch any type of video on a micro tiny screen? Get real. Kinda of like having thos Watch with calculators buttons- can’t even press a number without pressing two or three at the same time since it’s too tiny already LOL! Just stupid.

Picasso Says: March 18, 2008 at 8:44 pm

The flip case funcionality touchscreen is an awesome idea but kinda of kills the idea of it being simplified doesn’t it? Now your going backwards to adding same type features as regular phones when the whole concept of iTouch is exactly that- no more fliiping open to answer or anything, just one touch and your done. Everything at your fingertips. Add the flip case and now you have an extra piece on your iPhone you have to worry about breaking off- yeah, nice job Apple geniuses! Totally go backwards.

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