Never listen to drunk fauns?

Well, don’t say the Macalope didn’t warn you.

The Mac web-o-blog-o-rumorsphere is abuzz today with news of a patent filed by someone associated with other Apple patents.

The company appears to have filed a patent application earlier this year at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a “multi-functional handheld device” that could function as a mobile phone and music player, among other capabilities. Illustrations accompanying the application describe a multilayered device with a limited number of buttons.

Actually, if you look at the patent, it’s more than that.

In other examples, the electronic device can be an electronic game, a personal digital assistant, a multimedia device, a cellular telephone, a portable video player, a portable navigation device, or the like.

Hmm. A portable navigation device. Wasn’t the Macalope reading something about iPhoto having fields in it for GPS coordinates and some Googley bits?

So maybe it’s got some GPS capabilities. And take a look at this speculative piece from earlier in the month on Apple Insider. Some company apparently held a focus group on a hand-held device that might feature:

RSS access, full Internet access versus partial Internet access, Internet access via hot spots versus Internet anywhere, cell phone capabilities, as well as MP3, movie and television content access.

Are you feelin’ the vagueness yet? ‘Cause the Macalope’s feelin’ it.

It should also be noted that – other than a mock-up of a Safari screen on one of the dummy devices – it’s entirely unclear which company the focus group was for. To cover themselves, Apple Insider put this gem into the piece:

While there is little concrete evidence to suggest Apple was responsible for commissioning the survey, information to rule out the Cupertino, Calif.-based iPod maker is also lacking.

Indeed! Which gets us back to the rumors site credo: Is it irresponsible to speculate? No. It is irresponsible not to speculate.

So, what are we left with?

Well, if you want to include Apple Insider’s report, we have a full-fledged Internet device with GPS and cell phone capability that functions as a digital music and game player and has a touch-screen interface.

The only thing the Macalope doesn’t see is a camera.

Eh, but it’s got to have a camera…

On the other hand, a device that does everything under the sun sure doesn’t sound like Apple, now, does it?

Where’s a drunk faun when you need one?

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