Apple + new patent = iPhone speculation

It looks like Apple just won a patent for a new speech recognition technology, and the news has spurred analysts into speculating that Jobs' and crew have a new mobile phone in the works.

NEW YORK ( -- Apple Computer Inc. won a patent for a speech-recognition technology earlier this week, fueling speculation that the iPod-maker is laying the groundwork for a future "iPhone." The patent, approved Tuesday by the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office, allows Apple to assign "meanings to spoken utterances in a speech recognition system." The Apple-focused blog Mac News Network, which first reported the news, suggested that the patent, which was first filed in February of 2004, could be used for a future "iPhone."

Let's hope that if this turns out to be true, the "iPhone" ends up being better than the "ROKR". Love 'em or hate 'em, Apple sure can design some great looking hardware.