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Apple filings reveal potential iPod redesigns

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
A recent series of design filings made by Apple Computer suggests the company may have intentions of abandoning its Click-Wheel interface in future versions of its iPod digital music players.

In January of 2006, Apple successfully registered a total of 10 new iPod interface designs with a European trademark and design office. They depict versions of both the iPod nano and fifth-generation video iPod not yet released by the company.

First published in March, the visual designs are each credited to Andre K. Bartley, a well known Apple interface designer also named in several other iPod-related patent filings made in both United States and Europe. Since the latest filings strictly cover visual design, they are not accompanied descriptive data.

The designs

Two of the most eye-catching designs are based on Apple's current iPod nano enclosure:

In one of the design sketches, the Click-Wheel has been replaced by a keypad layout that strongly resembles a traditional mobile handset (or cell phone). Just below the nano's screen is a circular navigation pad, flanked by two input buttons (traditionally these are the "connect" and "disconnect" buttons on a cell phone). Below these controls is a keypad layout consisting of what appears to be 12 numeric keys, which also coincides with the keypad layout of traditional cell phones.



The second iPod nano design includes only a display and a what appears to be a 4-way directional pad like those found on the game controllers that shipped with original Nintendo Entertainment Systems back in 1985.

Apple's filings also include four additional designs based on the iPod nano, each of which includes a navigational interface unlike anything shipping on an iPod today. One appears to sport a square Apple TrackPad while another employs an elongated scroll strip with a rounded top and base. The third and fourth designs include some unknown form of elliptical controller.



Meanwhile, two other designs -- one for an iPod nano and one for a fifth-generation iPod -- are also shown with scroll strip rather than a Click-Wheel. However, in these versions, Apple depicts a rectangular strip without the rounded top and base.



The last two design filings simply show an iPod nano and a fifth-generation video iPod with a display screen and nothing more. The designs may have something to due with an iPod audio interface patent filed earlier this year. In that filing, Apple described a voice-activated menu navigation system that would allow users to control their iPods through speech commands and without the need for a traditional navigational interface.
post #2 of 34
Apple phone - Gimme gimme gimme!


I believe the first "????" nano is a typical scroll-thingy you can find on some phones. Like a scroll-wheel on a mouse, just a bit wider.
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post #3 of 34
it's possible that only one of these is intended for actual use, the others are to throw rumor sites off the trail of what's going on.
post #4 of 34
and the winner is... Click Wheel!
post #5 of 34
Quite a few of those designs already exist in other MP3 players on the market.

Especially the strip and plus designs. (Creative and Toshiba I think)
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post #6 of 34
I like the "Phone", "Controller", and "Trackpad" designs.
post #7 of 34
This makes me feel like a conspiracy theorist trying to decode alien symbols and pictograms. I want to believe!
post #8 of 34
aside from the phone design (which is arguable) the rest look like ass.
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post #9 of 34
if they were to replace the click wheel it better be something amazing, because the click wheel is too good, and no one can top it.
post #10 of 34
Is there any reason to think these are for potential Apple products at all?

Couldn't they just be Apple protecting itself from potential CLONE makers?

I don't think Apple is likely to consider dropping the very easy clickwheel for the sake of some lesser interface already used by other companies.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
Is there any reason to think these are for potential Apple products at all?

Couldn't they just be Apple protecting itself from potential CLONE makers?

I don't think Apple is likely to consider dropping the very easy clickwheel for the sake of some lesser interface already used by other companies.


i agree. which is why "news" like this is more wasted space and time than baseless rumors. move along. although i am quite disappointed in AI for this...
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post #12 of 34
Hmm.... iPhone nano... I hadn't thought of that before.

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post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by SpamSandwich
Hmm.... iPhone nano... I hadn't thought of that before.

That's exactly what I've been waiting for...FOR THE LAST YEAR!
Please Apple for the sake of all that is good and right in this world!
I've been putting off buying a phone for more than a year, hoping beyond hope that Apple will do the obvious smart thing...iPhone.
post #14 of 34
I hope the round thing above the keypad for the possible phone is a mini-clickwheel, with the select button moved off to one of the two buttons alongside. I'm surprised they're patenting these anyway. First off, design patents are almost worthless and secondly, they look hopelessly generic.
post #15 of 34
Right, so apple is going from small screen, to bigger to even smaller yet! Makes perfect sense! Slow news in apple land, huh
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by blackbird_1.0
I like the "Phone", "Controller", and "Trackpad" designs.

The trackpad design might just be the PDA I've been waiting for.

However, I agree with the person who said this might be just to head potential clone-makers off at the pass.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Mozzarella
That's exactly what I've been waiting for...FOR THE LAST YEAR!
Please Apple for the sake of all that is good and right in this world!
I've been putting off buying a phone for more than a year, hoping beyond hope that Apple will do the obvious smart thing...iPhone.

You and a billion others.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
The last two design filings simply show an iPod nano and a fifth-generation video iPod with a display screen and nothing more. The designs may have something to due with an iPod audio interface patent filed earlier this year. In that filing, Apple described a voice-activated menu navigation system that would allow users to control their iPods through speech commands and without the need for a traditional navigational interface.

Didn't some other company basically prove a few months ago that the voice control concept was worthless? I think it was at a trade show, I think either Intel or Microsoft was demonstrating a "no button" HTPC remote.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Didn't some other company basically prove a few months ago that the voice control concept was worthless? I think it was at a trade show, I think either Intel or Microsoft was demonstrating a "no button" HTPC remote.

Ironically, it was Apple's best buddy intel.
The problems were mostly due to the poor acoustics in the auditorium where the demonstration was given.
post #20 of 34
yeah, that and who wants to be seen walking around the city talking to their iPod - "iPod, play my Nine Inch Nails Playlist". "iPod, why am i being beat-up by strangers?"
...besides, how well did speech recognition work the last time you tried it?

"iPod, play dangerdoom, the mouse and the mask"

mmmm, i'm sorry, i didn't get that, it sounds like you said "clay ranger boom them house hanna ask"
post #21 of 34
or......as nagromme said......Apple could just be getting these patents to make sure none of the competition get anything close to an iPod (yeah I think that's it....)
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post #22 of 34
alot of those designs look very much like samsung mp3 playerss.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by desarc
yeah, that and who wants to be seen walking around the city talking to their iPod - "iPod, play my Nine Inch Nails Playlist". "iPod, why am i being beat-up by strangers?"

Hilarious.
post #24 of 34
It looks to me like Apple is filing a patent for designs of other MP3 players in an effort to make them drop out. Or change their design.

So that clones don't look anything near like the iPod.

This could put a snag in Microsoft's plan as the rumored pics of their player has a tiny looking, round thumb control like thing where Apple's click wheel is. Which Apple seems to have covered now.

Iiiinteresting...
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post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
You and a billion others.

I hope you've got your numbers right!
post #26 of 34
When are they going to make a fold out full sized screen ipod? Like halfway between a DS & a PSP, but for watching movies?

Closed, it's a normal ipod with a simple, small color screen for album art etc.

Opened (laptop like) it's a movie player.

That should be the future of the ipod.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by desarc
yeah, that and who wants to be seen walking around the city talking to their iPod - "iPod, play my Nine Inch Nails Playlist". "iPod, why am i being beat-up by strangers?"
...besides, how well did speech recognition work the last time you tried it?

"iPod, play dangerdoom, the mouse and the mask"

mmmm, i'm sorry, i didn't get that, it sounds like you said "clay ranger boom them house hanna ask"

"Eat Martha" .

An iPhone nano would be great, but I think most of these are just covering bases against clones. The square trackpad would be good though.
post #28 of 34
Looks like crap no?



Click wheel will always be the way forward- as said before I think they're just covering their bases!

BENj
post #29 of 34
Yeah, that "+" track pad looks really bad.

I agree with most of the posts. Either (1) Apple is trying to throw off the rumor sites as to their future designs (though I'll be surprised if that iPhone Nano design isn't for real), or (2) Apple is trying to get a patent to cover anything that might look like an iPod. Perhaps they're getting ready for a lawsuit against Microsoft's rival portable music player?
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by jamezog
...
Perhaps they're getting ready for a lawsuit against Microsoft's rival portable music player?

Well, but than one can ask, who is going to buy MS Music Players anyway?.
To put it differently, who cares?
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post #31 of 34
How about them being prototypes for Front Row remotes?
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post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by sCreeD
How about them being prototypes for Front Row remotes?

How about the front row remote being a prototype for a new shuffle?

Quote:
Originally posted by BenJ
Looks like crap no?

*image snipped*

Click wheel will always be the way forward- as said before I think they're just covering their bases!

BENj

You just killed the volume control and the menu nav...
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post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by BenJ
Looks like crap no?

Click wheel will always be the way forward- as said before I think they're just covering their bases!

BENj

Your assuming it's for a music player.

post #34 of 34
Nice job with that Motorola Apple Phone...

I just don't need a phone, darnit. My little free flip-phone from Sprint does me fine. I just want a little device that lets me carry my iCal around with me and "pencil you in."

"All roads lead to iPhone..."

Argh.
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