iPhone patents forecast GPS, games...and an MVNO?

With the iPhone 2.0 buzz continuing to escalate, mobile phone blog Dial-a-Phone reports that patents filed by Apple in recent weeks suggest the device will include GPS capabilities and gaming among its core functions. United States Patent Application 20080113614, filed by Apple on May 15, 2008 and titled "Personal media devices with wireless communication," details communications between WiFi-enabled handsets: "Such communication provides users of personal media devices with access to several WiFi oriented applications," the patent reads. "For example, in one embodiment a personal media device may wirelessly download subscription assets (e.g., podcast) as they become available. In another embodiment, content specific or local to a merchant may be provided to personal media devices that are in wireless communication with a wireless router affiliated with the merchant. For example, if the merchant is a restaurant, the merchant may provide a menu to the personal media device and the user may place an order on his or her media device by selecting items on the menu."

On April 17, Apple filed two patents: Number 20080088858, titled "System and Method for Processing Images Using Predetermined Tone Reproduction Curves," outlines a new image processing method and system suggesting enhanced iPhone camera capabilities, while patent number 20080088602, for a "Multi-Functional Hand-Held Device," details configurable user inputs based on how the product is to be used, with functionality modes including "PDA, mobile phone, music player, camera, video player, game player, handtop, Internet terminal, GPS receiver, and remote control."

A week earlier, Apple filed patent number 20080085707, "Dynamic Carrier Selection," which is summarized thusly: "The mobile device may not be associated with a particular home network operator. Bids can be received from multiple network operators for rates at which communication services using each network operator can be obtained. Preferences among the network operators can be determined using the received bids, and the preferences are used to select the network operator." In other words, expect the long-dormant Apple MVNO rumors to resume in force.

For more on Apple's patent filings:
-read this Dial-a-Phone article

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