Apple has made a string of patent design filings with the European Trademark Office that suggest several potential new interfaces for its iPod products.
The company made ten filings in January 2006. These show new versions of both the iPod nano and a potential iPod video.
Published in March, the designs are credited to Andre Bartley, a known Apple interface designer named in other iPod-related patent filings.
Macsimum News reports these suggest that the ClickWheel could be replaced. One of the designs shows an iPod nano in which the ClickWheel has been replaced by a 12-button keypad layout with a circular navigation pad. Another shows what appears to be a trackpad, while another features an elongated scroll strip. Two others feature an elliptical control interface.
The last two designs depict an iPod nano and a fifth-generation video iPod with a display screen and nothing more.