Beyond the major patent applications that we covered earlier today, there are a few minor patent applications worth noting. The first one covers a new iOS device earphone speaker system for enlarging the effective volume of a speaker using a unique blend of gas and air. The second one covers new and improved Apple Store retail packaging. In a third patent application, Apple reveals that they could be adding a "radiation absorber" to a future iPhone. According to Apple, "By virtue of its radiation absorption characteristics … the absorber may help prevent stray radiation from the emitter that may have been internally reflected." Well, well, isn't that nice to know? And one last thing: one of Apple's engineers who worked on the last patent, briefly points to alternative iPhone design features that are basically passé to begin with. The question becomes, why were these features even being discussed in the first place?