Mobile handheld electronic device with a removable cellphone

US 20070004450A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2007/0004450 A1
(43) Pub. Date:
Parikh
(54)
MOBILE HANDHELD ELECTRONIC
DEVICE WITH A REMOVABLE
CELLPHONE
(76) Inventor: Jay G. Parikh, Redwood City, CA
(Us)
(57)
Jan. 4, 2007
ABSTRACT
A mobile handheld electronic device having a given form
factor includes a detachable cellular telephone carried Within
the mobile handheld electronic device, such that When the
cellular telephone is positioned Within the mobile handheld
Correspondence Address:
LAW OFFICE OF DAVID H. JUDSON
15950 DALLAS PARKWAY
SUITE 225
DALLAS, TX 75248 (US)
electronic device the form factor is unaltered. The mobile
electronic device includes structure for establishing and
maintaining a mechanical connection between the cellular
telephone and the mobile handheld electronic device When
the cellular telephone is carried Within the mobile handheld
electronic device, and structure for establishing an electrical
connection between the cellular telephone and the mobile
handheld electronic device When the cellular telephone is
carried Within the mobile handheld electronic device. Pref
erably, the cellular telephone has a battery distinct from a
(21) Appl. No.:
11/172,081
(22) Filed:
Jun. 30, 2005
battery in the mobile handheld electronic device, and the
Publication Classi?cation
telephone is carried Within the mobile handheld electronic
device. When the cellular telephone is docked Within the
larger device, given data on the cellular telephone is syn
chroniZed With given data stored in the mobile handheld
electronic device.
(51)
Int. Cl.
H04M 1/00
(52)
US. Cl. ........................................................ ..455/556.1
(2006.01)
cellular telephone battery is recharged When the cellular
Patent Application Publication
Jan. 4, 2007 Sheet 1 0f 2
US 2007/0004450 A1
Patent Application Publication
Jan. 4, 2007 Sheet 2 0f 2
US 2007/0004450 A1
Jan. 4, 2007
US 2007/0004450 A1
MOBILE HANDHELD ELECTRONIC DEVICE
WITH A REMOVABLE CELLPHONE
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0001]
1. Technical Field
[0002] The present invention relates generally to handheld
communicator devices having “all-in-one” functionality.
[0003] 2. Background of the Related Art
[0004] In recent years, there has been much interest in
handheld computing devices such as tWo-Way pagers, Per
sonal Digital Assistants (PDAs), portable email sending/
receiving devices, and the neW Wave of data-ready cellular
phones. With the desire to reduce the number of devices an
individual must carry, many handheld computing device
vendors are developing and launching neW products that
combine the poWer of many specialiZed individual devices
into one “do it all” type devices. These combination devices
are sometimes knoWn as “communicator” devices and typi
cally function as a mobile phone, digital personal organiZer,
email/Web client, digital camera, pager and the like). Several
Blackberry models (eg Model 7290) and the Palm Treo®
line of products are representative communicator type
devices. These devices also alloW the mobile user to syn
chroniZe one such device With his/her main desktop/laptop
computer. An advantage of using only a single device is that
the mobile user is not required to synchroniZe several
handheld devices With his or her personal computer and is
not required to store the same information on multiple
devices. For example, With a communicator device an
address book does not need to be kept synchroniZed on both
on a PDA and cellular phone. While these devices all aim to
be the one device that does it all, they so by compromising
form factor, i.e., the physical siZe, Weight and shape of the
device. The current communicator products are usually
larger, bulkier, and not as portable as a normal PDA or
provides the bene?t of tWo distinct devices in one device
Without compromising the respective form factor of either
device, the device requires special structures (e.g., a foldable
dual-side display) and requires the user to manipulate the
housing into the separate form factors.
[0008] While the above-described patent provides an
interesting design approach, there remains a need in the art
to provide an improved communicator device. The present
invention addresses this need.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0009] It is a primary object of the present invention to
provide a mobile handheld digital device (e.g., a personal
digital assistant) that includes a removable, portable cellular
telephone Without modifying or altering the device’s basic
form factor.
[0010] It is another object of the invention to enhance a
mobile handheld electronic device having a form factor by
providing, Within the handheld electronic device itself, a
detachable cellular telephone. The detachable cellular tele
phone is carried Within the mobile handheld electronic
device such that When the cellular telephone is positioned
Within the handheld electronic device its form factor is or
remains unaltered or substantially unaltered.
[0011] Another more speci?c object of the present inven
tion is to provide a novel communicator device that alloWs
a mobile user to undock and operate an integral cellular
phone separately from the portion of the communicator
device that provides the remaining functions (e.g., PDA,
MP3 player, Wireless email, camera, pager, or the like). In
this Way, the cellular phone can be transported indepen
dently of the PDA functions, alloWing the mobile user to
have more freedom When the extra Weight/size of the Whole
communicator device is not needed. When the cellular
phone is docked into the communicator device, hoWever, the
cellular phone device.
device functions as if it Were one and still alloWs for the
mobile user to have only one device in Which to store all of
[0005] In particular, these “all-in-one” communicator
his/her information.
devices typically have large form factors and are not alWays
convenient to carry for a mobile user. Also, because these
devices are larger, they are more susceptible to being dam
aged or stolen. The large form factor can be a deterrent for
any mobile user especially if all of the communicator
functionality is not needed all the time. Imagine if a mobile
user just Wanted to go to the movies for the evening and did
not Want to carry the bulky communicator device. With
today’s products, many users prefer to carry both a PDA and
cellular phone over a single communicator device.
[0012]
It is still another object of the present invention to
provide an enhanced “all-in-one” communicator device.
[0013] According to an embodiment of the present inven
tion, a mobile handheld electronic device having a given
form factor includes a detachable cellular telephone carried
Within the mobile handheld electronic device, such that
When the cellular telephone is positioned Within the mobile
considerations is described in Us. Pat. No. 6,850,780,
issued to Gioscia et al. This patent describes a compact
handheld electronic device the form factor is unaltered. The
mobile electronic device also includes (a) ?rst structure for
establishing and maintaining a mechanical connection
betWeen the cellular telephone and the mobile handheld
electronic device When the cellular telephone is carried
Within the mobile handheld electronic device, and (b) sec
ond structure for establishing an electrical connection
betWeen the cellular telephone and the mobile handheld
electronic device When the cellular telephone is carried
Within the mobile handheld electronic device. Preferably, the
cellular telephone has a battery distinct from a battery in the
mobile handheld electronic device, and the cellular tele
personal digital assistant (PDA) and cellular telephone sup
phone battery is recharged When the cellular telephone is
ported in a single housing. The housing includes a foldable
dual-sided display and can be manipulated into tWo distinct
forms, a ?rst (larger) form for the PDA, and a second (more
compact) form for the cellular telephone. While this patent
the cellular telephone is docked Within the larger device,
given data on the cellular telephone is synchroniZed With
[0006] Today, cellular phones and PDAs, by themselves,
are bene?ting from technology innovations that alloW for
them to reach very small form factors. Some examples of
these very small and portable cell phones include the
Motorola v60i and the Nokia 8260. The small form factors
of these devices make them easy to transport or stoW.
[0007]
One interesting attempt to address form factor
carried Within the mobile handheld electronic device. When
given data stored in the mobile handheld electronic device.
Jan. 4, 2007
US 2007/0004450 A1
[0014] The inventive concept of supporting a small,
keypad rendered on the display), an embedded microphone
removable cellular telephone Within the form factor of an
existing handheld electronic device is also extendable to
other devices that can be “paired” With a cellular phone. For
or similar audio device, and a speaker or similar audio
device. The device may also include a built-in digital camera
example, according to the invention, a portable, detachable
cellular phone is docked With a portable music player (MP3
player, CD player, etc.) to create a single device. When
device such as a stylus. An electrical connector 110 provides
an electrical interface to a conductor (not shoWn) by Which
data may be provided to or from the device. All such
characteristics and operations are Well knoWn in the art.
separated, the cellular phone may be used to doWnload a
subset of music to alloW the user to play music from his or
her phone. Other devices that could be paired With the
cellular phone include a camera, a Wireless email device, a
portable game player (e.g., Sony PSP), and a PDA.
[0015] The foregoing has outlined some of the more
pertinent features of the invention. These features should be
construed to be merely illustrative. Many other bene?cial
results can be attained by applying the disclosed invention in
a different manner or by modifying the invention as Will be
described.
and include (Within a compartment) a removable pointing
[0022] According to the present invention, a mobile hand
held electronic device such as the “all-in-one” communica
tor shoWn in FIG. 1 is enhanced by inclusion of a removable
cellular telephone, but Wherein the form factor of the origi
nal device is maintained intact. This concept is illustrated in
FIG. 2. Here, the communicator device 200 (like the device
in FIG. 1) includes a detachable cellular telephone 202 that
“?ts” Within the device but can be removed for separate
handling. In a ?rst, docked position, the cellular telephone is
mechanically and electrically connected Within the device
itself. This is sometimes referred to a “connected” mode. In
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0016] For a more complete understanding of the present
invention and the advantages thereof, reference is noW made
to the folloWing descriptions taken in conjunction With the
accompanying draWings, in Which:
[0017]
FIG. 1 is a knoWn communicator device having a
form factor;
[0018]
FIG. 2 illustrates hoW communicator device of
FIG. 1 is modi?ed to house a detachable cellular telephone
according to the present invention;
[0019]
FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of the
a second, undocked position, the cellular telephone is
mechanically separated to present the mobile user With tWo
(2) devices. This is sometimes referred to as a “discon
nected” mode. In the docked position for connected mode,
the mobile device presents a given form factor, and that form
factor remains substantially unaltered When the cellular
telephone is undocked and held in the disconnected mode as
illustrated in FIG. 2. The removable cellular telephone may
be the only telephone in the communicator, or the commu
nicator may also include the conventional “built-in” tele
phone of the prior art. A Wireless connection can be estab
lished from the removable telephone to the remainder of the
electronic device, or from the removable telephone to one or
present invention; and
more netWorks. The removable telephone 202 thus prefer
[0020] FIG. 4 illustrates still another embodiment of the
present invention.
ably is a standalone device that operates With or Without
poWer, hardWare, softWare or other support from the elec
tronic device from Which it is removed. Nevertheless, the
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN
ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT
[0021]
The present invention is implemented in a mobile
handheld electronic device having a form factor. One such
handheld electronic device is a “communicator,” Which is a
knoWn device that has “all-in-one” functionality. Typically,
this means that the single device functions as both a personal
digital assistant (PDA) and cellular telephone, among other
functions such as a digital camera, Wirelesss e-mail client,
and the like. Representative “communicator” devices are
available commercially. One such device is the Palm Treo
650, Which is illustrated in FIG. 1. The mobile handheld
electronic device 100 comprises a housing having a knoWn
form factor, i.e., siZe and shape, With various man-machine
interface components, e.g., a display 102, keypad 104,
control buttons 106, and the like. An antenna 108 provides
Wireless connectivity to a telecommunications network (e.g.,
a GSM network, a CDMA netWork, or the like) and,
optionally, to a Wireless local area netWork (WLAN) or other
Internet Protocol (IP) based netWork. The device comprises
hardWare and suitable storage (hard disk and volatile
memory) for hosting the device’s operating system and
application programs (e.g., a Web broWser, an e-mail client,
a contacts handler, a photo manager, an SMS client, a
calendar, a voice recognizer, and the like). The communi
cator device includes a built-in cellular telephone Whose
functions are accessed through the keypad (or via a “soft”
basic form factor (length, Width and depth) of the mobile
electronic device is unaltered by the telephone removal.
[0023] The detachable cellular telephone 200 is very com
pact and lightWeight. Given the very small and compact siZe
of the detachable cellular, typically this telephone Will not
include all of the functional characteristics of a conventional
cellular telephone. The cellular phone may not even include
a display, or a keypad (if suitable voice recognition soft
Ware) is included. In one embodiment, the detachable cel
lular phone includes only the necessary Wireless interfaces
and softWare necessary to enable the phone to handle voice
calls. Preferably, the cellular telephone operates in a loW
poWer drain mode (a “sleep mode”) When not in use to
preserve the device’s battery life. The detachable cellular
phone could also make use of a Bluetooth transceiver. The
Bluetooth transceiver Would be used to communicate Wire
lessly With a Bluetooth headset, such as the Motorola HS810
Wireless Bluetooth Headset. Therefore, the detachable cel
lular phone could be built Without the ear speaker and
microphone further reducing the form factor of the device.
[0024]
As can be seen in FIG. 2, the detachable cellular
telephone is carried Within the mobile handheld electronic
device 200 such that When the cellular telephone is posi
tioned Within the mobile handheld electronic device the
form factor is unaltered. The housing of the electronic
device 200 includes suitable structure for establishing and
maintaining a mechanical connection betWeen the cellular
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US 2007/0004450 A1
telephone 202 and the mobile handheld electronic device
200 When the cellular telephone is carried Within the mobile
handheld electronic device. In this embodiment, the struc
ture comprises the rear Wall 204 and a set of sideWalls 206
that together comprise a cutout portion in Which the device
is positioned. The electronic device also includes circuitry
(e.g., a electrical connector) 208 for establishing an electri
cal connection betWeen the cellular telephone 200 and the
mobile handheld electronic device 200 When the cellular
telephone is carried Within the mobile handheld electronic
device. This electrical connection, in the alternative, may be
effected using Wireless technology (e.g., a Bluetooth con
nection).
[0025] Thus, according to the present invention, a detach
able cellular phone is carried Within a mobile device such as
a PDA (or other portable/handheld device) that has been
modi?ed to support such cellular phone Within the device’s
existing form factor. The portable device includes appropri
described and illustrated. This connection facilitates poWer
supply sharing, information exchange and functional coop
eration When the devices are docked. When the tWo com
ponents are connected, the electrical connection is estab
lished securely. Preferably, the electrical contacts do not
protrude from either device When the devices are discon
nected to protect the metal contacts from damage.
[0029] For data to stay synchronized betWeen the PDA and
cellular phone, the device provides the ability to transfer
various user or other data betWeen the tWo devices. The data
synchronization occurs via the electrical connection estab
lished When the devices are connected. The mobile user also
has the ability to synchronize various types of user data, like
address book, calendar, notes, etc. betWeen the devices
before disconnecting the tWo components from each other.
The synchronization may be one-Way or tWo-Way. In one
Way mode, the PDA pushes its data to the cellular phone. In
this embodiment, data on the cellular phone gets overWritten
ate structure interfaces, both mechanical and software, to
With current data stored on the PDA (although this is not
enable these tWo separate devices to function as one device,
required). In particular, the PDA is the master data storage
and the cellular phone functions only as a slave. In tWo-Way
mode, there is actual synchronization for each data element
on the PDA and cellular phone. Thus, the most up-to-date
When docked, (communicator device) as Well as tWo spe
cialized devices (PDA and cellular phone) When undocked.
As has been described, it is desirable that the device main
tain its form factor both in docked (connected) and
undocked (disconnected) form. Although one embodiment
has been illustrated, any mechanical interface that alloWs the
cellular phone component to connect With the existing PDA
component form factor is Within the scope of the present
data on either device is synchronized to the other device.
Examples of this might include, but not limited to, a mobile
user updates a contact’s phone number on the cellular phone
component When in disconnected mode. When the user
docks the cellular phone With the PDA, the devices syn
chronize and the updated phone number on the cellular
invention. For this reason, the cellular phone component Will
be smaller in physical dimensions than the PDA component.
phone is sent to the PDA. The old data on the PDA is
Thus, the PDA component must have a form factor that
alloWs for it to accept the cellular component.
Whatever synchronization method is implemented, the
overWritten With the neW update from the cellular phone.
device preferably affords the mobile user With the option of
[0026]
There are several approaches that this device may
automatic synchronization or prompted synchronization.
incorporate to alloW for this docking capability. Theses
That is, the synchronization may occur automatically When
approaches are divided into tWo basic categories: internal
and external. An internal interface design comprises a
“hatch” to an internal bay that When opened, alloWs for the
cellular phone component to be inserted into the bay. When
the hatch is secured, the cellular phone Would be held
internally to the structure of the PDA component, as illus
trated in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, some portions of the
cellular phone component body are visible When inserted to
the devices are reconnected, or the user could prompt the
the bay; hoWever, the internal frame of the PDA component
devices to do the synchronization, e.g., via the PDA softWare
interface. This synchronization method also handles differ
ent types of data that is expected to be exchanged betWeen
the devices (MP3, contact info, calendar info, e-mail, and
the like)
[0030] For both devices to function separately, both the
PDA component and cellular component preferably have
provides structural support for the cellular phone assembly.
their oWn battery poWer supply. A high poWered, compact,
The hatch may use a slider type of mechanism or a ?ip open
rechargeable battery or batteries in each device alloW for
each device to have a good battery life When each device is
mechanism. In the alternative, an external interface design
comprises a latching mechanism on the external surface area
operated independently. Alternatively, When the devices are
of the PDA component. This latching mechanism accepts a
connected, the battery poWer from each device can be
harnessed to give even greater battery life to the docked unit.
complimentary hooking mechanism that is incorporated into
the external body of the cellular phone, as illustrated in FIG.
4. As demonstrated in this diagram, the PDA component has
a cutout area that that is the inverse form factor of the
cellular phone. The cutout area accepts the cellular phone
When the tWo components are docked.
[0027]
In either case, the docking mechanisms provide a
Optionally, the PDA device recharges the cellular phone
When in docked con?guration. This alloWs for the mobile
user to have more ?exibility by being able to recharge the
cellular phone from the PDA device. Moreover, both devices
preferably include an interface, accessible via the PDA and
the cellular phone, to recharge both batteries from a poWer
outlet. The poWer source may be a Wall AC outlet or a DC
secure and ?rm mechanical connection. The cellular phone
car lighter outlet. The charging interface on the PDA and
component should not vibrate or come accidentally
cellular phone preferably should be identical, so that a single
charging adapter can be used. The charging adapter can
charge the combined device, but it can also be used to charge
the PDA or cellular phone separately.
undocked. The form factor of the combined device is rigid
and sturdy. The mechanism, hoWever, alloWs for quick and
effortless undock of the cellular phone.
[0028] The mechanical connection also incorporates an
appropriate electrical connection, as has been previously
[0031]
This device has many advantages over the prior art.
The combined unit is relatively small, lightWeight and
Jan. 4, 2007
US 2007/0004450 A1
ergonomic, and it has a portable and consistent form factor
4. The mobile handheld electronic device as described in
With good battery life. The cellular telephone is easily
claim 3 Wherein the cellular telephone battery is recharged
detachable and carried separately.
When the cellular telephone is carried Within the mobile
handheld electronic device.
[0032]
Having described my invention, What I noW claim
is as folloWs.
1. In a mobile handheld electronic device having a form
factor, the improvement comprising:
5. The mobile handheld electronic device as described in
claim 1 Wherein the circuitry synchronizes given data on the
cellular telephone With given data stored in the mobile
telephone is positioned Within the mobile handheld
handheld electronic device.
6. The mobile handheld electronic device as described in
claim 1 Wherein the electronic device is a personal digital
electronic device the form factor is unaltered;
assistant (PDA).
a detachable cellular telephone carried Within the mobile
handheld electronic device, such that When the cellular
structure for establishing and maintaining a mechanical
connection betWeen the cellular telephone and the
mobile handheld electronic device When the cellular
telephone is carried Within the mobile handheld elec
tronic device; and
circuitry for establishing an electrical connection betWeen
the cellular telephone and the mobile handheld elec
tronic device When the cellular telephone is carried
Within the mobile handheld electronic device.
2. The mobile handheld electronic device as described in
claim 1 Wherein the cellular telephone is detached for use.
3. The mobile handheld electronic device as described in
claim 1 Wherein the cellular telephone has a battery distinct
from a battery in the mobile handheld electronic device.
7. The mobile handheld electronic device as described in
claim 1 Wherein the electronic device is a music player.
8. The mobile handheld electronic device as described in
claim 1 Wherein the electronic device is a portable game
player.
9. The mobile handheld electronic device as described in
claim 1 Wherein the electronic device is a portable e-mail
client device.
10. The mobile handheld electronic device as described in
claim 1 Wherein the electronic device is a portable digital
camera.