'Zune phone' patent application surfaces in series of tubes

Mobile phone fan site unearths a patent application that looks strangely iPhone-esque.


There have been plenty of Zune 2.0 rumors recently--flash memory, a "watermelon" version this summer, and what-have-you. Now here's another one to add to the pile; Engadget recently pointed us to a "Zune phone" interface patent application unearthed by Mad4MobilePhones. It appears to be a sort of "tiled" setup for for "improved user interface for mobile devices such as smartphones" and "personal digital assistants." Looks like a fancy Bingo card to me.

Engadget pointed out that some of the icons appear to point to weather, music, and the like. There's also a TV icon with rabbit ears (umm, online video?), a globe (mobile Web?), a shopping cart, and...a dog? From the looks of it, it definitely seems like a Microsoft answer to the iPhone.

Concrete Zune phone rumors started flying around a few months ago . And keep in mind that Microsoft has filed other applications involving wireless communication over a 4G WiMax network. Hmmm...

Anybody else think that Microsoft plants rumor fodder in an attempt to deflect from the recent onslaught of Apple rumors? Sneaky, sneaky Steve Ballmer!

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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