October 7, 2014 Last Updated 1:32 pm

Apple granted patent for ‘iNewspaper’ digital device, an old idea likely to go nowhere

The website PatentlyApple is reporting today that Apple has been granted a patent for a device that could be used for digital periodicals or to deliver advertising.

The patent, #8,855,727, is but one of many granted to Apple over the years, and is credited to Harry Vartanian.

“Wireless communications has enabled widespread easy access to mass media and multimedia information via mobile devices, cellular phones, personal digital assistants, smart phones, or the like,” the patent application begins. “Although the availability of multimedia information is ubiquitous, proper viewing, display, and delivery of information for an enjoyable user experience is still lacking. This is especially the case for viewing periodicals such as online magazines or news content on a mobile device where a large display is desirable. Moreover, having complex software and hardware is required to receive and display multimedia periodical information on present mobile devices making them expensive, heavy, and power intensive.”


The concept appears very similar to Skiff, a flexible, digital display newspaper that was one of the many tablet concepts being advanced just prior to the introduction of the iPad in early 2010.

This granted patent also dates back a few years, being a continuation of patent applications that date from 2011. As a result, one has serious doubts that Apple has any intention to proceed with an idea that is already probably out of date.

(Just for kicks, you might want to check out my original post on Skiff, still housed on the old TNM website. The important part of the post is that the plans for the flexible tablet were ever so grand… and, of course, nothing came of it.)

If Apple, or any of the other consumer electronics companies, produced a product from every patent granted Best Buy would have to take over a small country to house them all.

Don’t expect to see Apple produce an iNewspaper any time soon. But do expect an announcement very soon. Re/code is stating that the event will take place on October 16 – that would be one week earlier than expected, possibly a sign that Apple is eager to pump up its sales numbed, or that it needs to launch the new version of the Mac OS – named Yosemite – in order to activate many of the new features its previewed at past events.


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