1. Paul Daniel Ash's Avatar


    In a pile of new Apple patent applications released today, one surprise stood out: Apple is working on an external transceiver that would turn an iPod touch - or any mobile device, from a media player to a game console - into a full-featured cellular phone. The patent, called "Accessory Transceiver for Mobile Devices," was highlighted by Patently Apple today. In addition to giving calling services to an iPod, the patent also details how the transceiver could be used to connect an iPhone to a different cellular network, specifically referencing a CDMA network like the one used by Verizon in the US.

    The patent, credited to Apple engineers Paul Holden, Robert Borchers, Jesse Lee Dorogusker, Emily Clark Schubert and Stephen Chick, was one of 27 that were released today. In the introduction, the inventors noted that "conventional mobile devices are often dedicated to performing a specific application," such as MP3 players that only play music or dumbphones that are limited to making calls. The invention aims to add communication functionality to devices that don't currently have it, allowing you to, for example, make calls from a PSP, or browse the Web from a phone without data services. The patent notes, significantly, that "a mobile device can be equipped with an internal transceiver that allows the mobile device to communicate with a mobile phone network, for example, a GSM mobile telephone network… can use an accessory transceiver to communicate with a different mobile phone network, for example, a CDMA mobile telephone network." So this invention would allow any iPhone to access Verizon's network, whether or not Apple ever comes out with the long-rumored CDMA version of the phone.

    A more likely Apple product based on this patent, though, would be an accessory that would give cell phone capability to iPad or iPod touch devices. The drawings attached to the patent, in fact, show the iPod touch as the controlling device for the transceiver. In addition to a cell network, the transceiver could be used to access other wireless data systems, such as satellite networks, WiFi, WiMAX, and so forth. The transceiver could either be connected by a cord to the device or, in some "embodiments of the invention," wirelessly.

    source: Patently Apple
    2010-09-19 07:35 PM
  2. Be Expressive's Avatar
    Good news
    2010-09-19 07:39 PM
  3. garstie's Avatar
    Swell
    2010-09-19 07:44 PM
  4. vruls's Avatar
    good i hope they release it soon COZ I WANT ONE
    2010-09-19 07:50 PM
  5. g12007's Avatar
    Sounds cool
    2010-09-19 07:50 PM
  6. Captinsmooth's Avatar
    Some Chinese company already beat them to it, though I doubt they care about patents. But they have a case for the itouch that turns it into a phone.

    Apple Peel 520 iPod touch Phone Case
    This post infers no rights and is provided as is.

    Click here to follow me on twitter
    2010-09-19 07:58 PM
  7. psilocybin's Avatar
    I wouldn't buy one cause I have an iPhone but cool
    2010-09-19 08:11 PM
  8. mactwisted's Avatar
    why do we need this?
    2010-09-19 08:18 PM
  9. whereswaldo's Avatar
    so it's basically a iphone without contracts, i'm fine with that
    Name? whereswaldo
    iDevice + Firmware? 32GB Black iPhone 4 iOS 5.0
    Computer + OS? Dell Inspiron 15R 2nd Gen i5, 2.3 Ghz, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM Windows 7 HP
    Location? Toronto
    Found yet? No
    2010-09-19 08:25 PM
  10. beingforthebenefit's Avatar
    Why would you want this with an iPod Touch, just buy an iPhone. The CDMA version of the iPhone will be out before this thing. And that's not an iPod Touch in the patent drawings, that's an iPhone (notice the speaker).
    2010-09-19 08:28 PM
  11. farfromovin's Avatar
    So if you were out in the middle of the rocky mountains you could use it to make an emergency satellite call. That would be my only use.
    2010-09-19 08:28 PM
  12. baskie's Avatar
    If it's possible, only reason for Apple to patent it is to stop others using it. I mean, why would a phone manufacturer ever plan to release a device that removes the need for a phone?
    2010-09-19 08:54 PM
  13. macsoldier's Avatar
    This would be nice to have
    2010-09-19 09:08 PM
  14. DisneyRicky's Avatar
    Cool!
    My Devices:

    iPod Touch 4g 4.1 - Jailbroken
    iPad 4.2.1 - Jailbroken
    2010-09-19 09:13 PM
  15. Aliquippakid's Avatar
    Those are really bad iPhone drawings. So is this goin to be a box to plug into the dock?
    2010-09-19 09:25 PM
  16. sb1975's Avatar
    If it's possible, only reason for Apple to patent it is to stop others using it. I mean, why would a phone manufacturer ever plan to release a device that removes the need for a phone?
    Thats exactly what happened.

    Sorry to burst anyone's bubble but Apple put a patent on it so no one can make it not because they plan on making it.
    2010-09-19 09:38 PM
  17. Singels's Avatar
    If it's possible, only reason for Apple to patent it is to stop others using it. I mean, why would a phone manufacturer ever plan to release a device that removes the need for a phone?
    I totally agree, it is just a preemptive move to block others.
    2010-09-19 09:54 PM
  18. psilocybin's Avatar
    Hopefully it's not to big and bulky for those of you that want one
    2010-09-19 10:18 PM
  19. zeroskater61's Avatar
    So then what would be the point of even buying an iPod/iPad?? If you want to makes calls from either why not just go with an iPhone?? This is pretty dumb... in some ways of corse. For others of corse I could see why they would want this.
    Like to see the idiot holding there iPad up against there head as a phone!! lol

    Even though I know the headphones would be needed since there's no ear piece in the iPad.
    2010-09-19 11:22 PM
  20. cypherpunk's Avatar
    Thats exactly what happened.

    Sorry to burst anyone's bubble but Apple put a patent on it so no one can make it not because they plan on making it.
    Not so. Firstly, they would benefit far more from using it to collect licensing fees. And secondly, for a company already treading dangerously close to the edge of an antitrust lawsuit, adding patent misuse to the list would not be a wise move.

    Also, it's impossible for any company to (legally) prevent the use of their idea. They can sue, but if they're not making use of their invention, and gave the other company no option to license it, the court will simply determine "reasonable royalty fee" that the infringer must pay. Apple would have to file for an injunction, and would have a difficult time convincing a court in a case where their evident goal was simply to suppress an invention rather than use it for their own gain.

    Also, all this is ignoring prior art (Mifi, anyone?).
    Last edited by cypherpunk; 2010-09-20 at 12:17 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    2010-09-20 12:17 AM
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