The iPad 2 is due out soon, and many are wondering what Apple can add to the oversized iPhone 4 that isn't already in it. However a sneak peak at Apple's patents pending reveals more than the tight lipped techno boffins in Silicon Valley ever could.
The iPad 2 (or iPhone 4 Macro) is the technical platform for the patent "Running More Than One Application At Once".
"This seems like such an obvious patent," said Apple insider, Ian Cider. "I'm surprised nobody has thought have patenting it before."
Until the prior-art task force can swing into action, every electronic application that can already run more than one application at once will have to pay royalties to the computing giant.
"We're quite hopeful our lawyers can prove prior art before their lawyers can prove patent infringement," said Microshaft spokesperson, Ima Peecee. "After all, our products have always been able to run more than one application at once."
One area where Apple are confident that there will be no prior art issues, is their new control mechanism for the iPad 2.
"As well as the standard multi-touch screen, which is already patented," said Ian Cider, "we have a revolutionary new Toe Control System. Or TCS."
This new way of interacting with the iPad will allow early adopters to, for example, hang the iPad 2 on the bathroom wall, using the patented Picture Hook, and use a toe to access all of the iPad's functions without ever getting out of the bath. Or, put the iPad on the floor, and read while stood up.
"The possibilities are endless," said Ian Cider. "Or perhaps it's just those two. Time will tell."
Apple also attempted to introduce a gesturing control mechanism for the iPad 2 using the inbuilt camera. However, for once, Microshaft had got there first.
"HA!" said Peecee.