AppleInsider links to drawings from Apple patent filings that indicate possible designs for the next iPod. One problem: at least one of them has been done before, by Creative, for its own products.
In the second row of drawings at the Apple Insider page, there’s a version of the Nano with a scroll-strip instead of the click wheel – a vertical strip, touch sensitive, that users will presumably slide their fingers up and down on.
Now compare the drawing to the Creative ZEN Vision:M – looks pretty similar, doesn’t it? The scroll strip on the Vision:M works by sliding you finger up and down it.
I honestly can’t see Apple being granted a patent for something that not only has such obvious prior art, but that’s used (and possibly patented) by it’s only major competitor in the market.