In a patent application published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office this week it is revealed that Apple might be planning on integrating a “speaker clip” on future generation iPod that could be the next generation iPod Nano.
Based on the illustration in the patent application we could be looking at a new generation iPod Nanos with a clip on the back that also works as a speaker, using a ‘conduit’ in the springloaded hinge attaching the clip to the iPod as the speaker connection. The patent application does not include references to any iPod, but there is no reason at the moment to think it would be anything else.
What the purpose of the clip-speaker could be is still uncertain. It could be used to allow audio feedback to actions taken on the touchscreen of the device, or it could also be that one can play music without the use of headphones, although i can’t see any specific reason why someone would want to do that. My guess would be that it would be used for alerts and similar.
The patent application was first filed in May of 2010 so it is unknown if this feature will ever find its way to a future device. There was no hardware upgrade for the iPod Nano or Shuffle this year, although the iPod Nano received firmware upgrade to improve features, including Nike+ features and improved usability.