As we all know, the world of product patents and the real world of actual products are often as far apart as Neverland and Nevada, but every now and again, a filing pops up that demands attention and even speculation.
Apple has applied for a patent on a design for an iPhone that features a pop-out joypad. According to Forbes, which dug up the filing dated from 2013 and published last week, the "multi-function input device" allows games players to overcome the "shortcomings" of touch screen games, such as interfering "with the user's ability to see what he is controlling and/or other portions of the game display."
Correction: An earlier version of this story said Apple had patented such a control device on the iPhone. It has applied for such a patent, that patent has not been granted yet. The headline has been changed and the story revised to reflect this.
It goes on to state that the built-in controller, which is enabled through a spring mechanism, would be useful for games that demand tactile feedback. "Some gamers hold the opinion that realistic game play cannot be fully experienced without joysticks and/or tactile buttons," states the application.