More patent acquisitions shed light on what Apple plans on doing with its upcoming flagship phone, the iPhone 6. According to a recent report published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple acquired another patent describing the use of passive audio call screening through an off-site voicemail service. In theory, the feature can be used in mobile devices like the iPhone. Can Apple create a mobile phone with landline features?
The patent goes by No. 8,666,034 entitled "Audio call screening for hosted voicemail systems." According to the patent, Apple may include a consistent landline technology to mobile handsets. According to the patent, the existing technology will let users to monitor or track screen messages sent at a hosted voicemail system originating from a telephone terminal.
Incoming calls that should come to the telephone terminal will be redirected to the voicemail system at once. Likewise, the same process will happen even after the system tries to connect the incoming call to the terminal. Even when the caller is in the process of leaving the message for voicemail, the system will establish a connection between the voicemail system, incoming call and telephone. This setup will let the person hear the message in real time. This helps the user to decide whether he or she should or should not answer the call.
The user can let the caller finish the message or answer immediately. In one edition of the system, the telephone terminal comes with a function allowing the user to simply open the channel for tracking messages. The system will offer a completely bi-directional connection should the user answer the call. The telephone terminal and supporting switch will work together to manage how users can track and take calls.
Back in 2011, there has been a consortium of tech firms including EMC, Ericsson, Research in Motion, Microsoft, Sony and Apple called the Rockstat. The consortium applied for a $4.5 billion- worth of patent collection. That is, over 6,000 Nortel patents. Later on, reports claimed that Apple footed a considerable amount of the bill. The company spent $2.6 billion for the project.
Although the Rockstar consortium has been working on key patents as opposed to Samsung and Google, many of these properties have been going into Apple slowly. The same thing applies for the '034 patent.