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According to a new patent application filed by Apple Computer Inc., the new and upcoming iPhone OS could offer contact icons on the home screen. These icons can be used to invoke apps, retrieve and display contacts information, or can be modified to display related info, tied to an individual contact. This patent, which was filed back in July 2008 states the following.

iPhone Patent

The icon can also be used to invoke one or more applications that are personalized to the contact. The icon can be modified to display information related to the contact. In one aspect, an icon associated with an entity can be temporarily displayed on the mobile device based on the proximity of the mobile device to the entity.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today has accepted Apple’s filing. This could probably mean that we may soon see this feature being introduced in the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0, which is expected to be announced with the next-gen iPhone in summer, at WWDC 2010.

Here is another look at one of the images from the patent, showing the option to add the contact on the home screen.

iPhone Patent

We will have to wait and see whether or not this new functionality is going to be included in the upcoming iPhone 4.0 Beta, which is rumored to be announced at the January 27th event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. [via Being Manan]

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