Well not really, but since there has been a lot of rumors about the recent filings with the US Patent office by Apple for a "Handheld computing device", I decided to find out more. Typically US Patent filings have images associated with it and with a litle bit of clicking and installing activeX TIFF viewers, viola, anyone can view the images that were filed together with any Patents.

(Images from United States Patent Office www.uspto.gov)

It looks like it'll be small, perhaps a mini ipod sized, made with ceramic/zirconia and a candybar type phone. Kevin Rose (of Diggnation) says that it has a slideout keypad but it doesn't look like it. The only reference to slide or sliding is the internal mechanism being able to be slid in and out during assembly.

If there isn't a slide out keypad, then I'm sure the iPhone will ship with a special headset for voice because there isn't a reference to an external mic/speaker, but then again, it could be in embedded into module 70A.

As for network availability? Looks like provision is made for the device to support RF, WiFi, PCS, DCS, and GSM networks. No reference to 3G/UMTS or HSDPA, but then again, [0110] is written to be so vague it could include any wireless technology.

[0110] Although not shown, the internal components may also include components for processing, transmitting and/or receiving wireless signals (e.g., transmitter, receiver, antenna, etc.). By way of example, the device may include components for supporting FM, RF, Bluetooth, 802.11, etc.

[0111] In one embodiment, the device is or includes functionality for supporting cellular or mobile phone usage. In this embodiment, the device includes processors, transmitters, receivers, and antennas for supporting RF, and more particularly GSM, DCS and/or PCS wireless communications in the range of about 850 to about 1900 MHz.

[0112] The device may for example include one or more antennas tuned to operate over the GSM, PCS and/or DCS frequency bands. By way of example, monopole, dipole and tri band and quad band antennas may be used. In one example, a PCS+DCS dipole antenna is used. The antenna may protrude out of the enclosure or it may be fully enclosed by the enclosure. If the later, some portion of the enclosure is configured to be radio transparent (e.g., capable of transmitting and receiving RF signals therethrough). For example, the end caps and/or the main body of the enclosure may be radio-transparent.

Well who knows, these patent filings tend to be very vague in nature and the end product usually stretches things a little bit. Can't wait to see it though, knowing Apple, they'll surprise us with something really innovative yet simple. It will be a phone (a good and simple one) and a media player (also good) and NOTHING in between. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Perhaps its a good time to dust off my resume and start updating it!! ;)