Not really sure how much mileage Apple
is going to get out of this patent, with Zune
and pretty much everybody else
already swapping songs and such wirelessly, but we'll humor 'em all the same. A September 1st, 2006 filing describes methods "for delivery of data to a portable electronic device from another electronic device." For sake of argument, we'll assume they're talking iPhones and iPods here. Applications are pretty broad, ranging from various protected and unprotected media files, to news subscriptions and shopping lists, and syncing can be done automatically and manually. In a definite step above the level of sharing offered by the Zune, subscription files can be shared in an unlimited manner with other subscription users -- though of course that would all be contingent on Apple ever offering a subscription-based iTunes
to its users.