It’s rare that Apple’s patents actually show the exact form factors of devices they have in development, but this “dual sided trackpad” patent for a phone seems to definitely show that they’ve got some flipphone version coming up. The patent itself outlines a phone that has two multitouch sensors, both on the “bottom” part of the phone. When it’s closed, the phone acts like your current model iPhone. When it’s open, only the bottom part of the phone is touch-sensitive, whereas the top part is just a display.

The top/bottom touchscreen difference has the interesting effect of bringing some new features such as actually drawing out a number on the touchpad, rotating and old school dial (?), simulating a T9 dialpad, or even having both sides of the touchscreen active at once for some crazy control.

What’s the point of this? Besides new features, apparently many people HATE the candybar form factor and won’t even consider a phone a real phone unless it’s a clamshell.