Apple Planning Video-Call iPhone

by admin February 2, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Recent stories on Apple’s iPhone patent have focused on Cupertino’s threatened legal action against Palm, which is launching the iPhone-like Pre smartphone. But a closer examination of the Apple patent yields much more interesting news. Namely, Apple is considering adding a video record feature to the iPhone — an omission users have long complained about — and it may soon become a handheld videophone platform, with support for mobile video-conferencing calls.

Those are the inferences you can make if you believe that the claims Apple has put into its patent relates to stuff it intends to turn into products. The video-call feature is the boldest one; a potential market game changer, which could knock competitors like Palm’s Pre or Dell (Dell)’s planned smartphone back off the front pages. (The other feature, video record, is just a natural extension of the current still camera, and is probably something it could do now, if Apple so chose.)

I’ve scoured the iPhone patent and have come up with the verbiage and images which indicate Apple’s video intentions. Interestingly, Apple’s United States patent, which is number 7,479,949, has the rather grasping title of “Touch screen device, method, and graphic user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics.” I guess that’s intended to lock up a whole heap of intellectual property and prevent any competitors — like Pre-maker Palm — from doing a touch-screen phone unless they can figure out how to launch calls via the user’s brain-wave commands.

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