Unlike most established mobile phone manufacturers, Apple has so far released just one handset design. The iPhone is a large candybar — a sleek, shiny, touchy-feely one, granted, but still a candybar.
However, a recent patent suggests that Apple may be considering a clamshell iPhone, looking and behaving like a cross between the current iPhone, a clamshell phone, and a Nintendo DS. It’s an unusual move for Apple, who don’t usually show detailed drawings of potential future products.
With the phone closed, it would work just as the current iPhone does, with a large touchscreen on the outside. When open, the bottom half of the phone would be a touchscreen while the top half would be a display.
Still without a physical keyboard, both touchscreens could still be modified by the operating system depending upon what task was being performed. This could include the ability to draw out a telephone number or memo using handwriting recognition, or the creation of a virtual T9-enabled keypad.
While Apple are never likely to release a whole range of different designs for the iPhone, a clamshell version may just appeal to those who really don’t like brick phones.