Apple patent filing hints at mobile phone

Apple patent filing hints at mobile phone By Jessie Seyfer Mercury News

The smoldering rumor that Apple could someday unveil a mobile phone just got doused with gasoline.

On Thursday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office made public a December 2004 patent application by Apple describing a hypothetical wireless mobile device, as well as how a person could use such a device to mark media items -- video, ringtones, graphics or video -- for later download.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the filing. But at least one analyst believes it's a clear indication that an Apple-branded phone is not a question of if, but when.

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