Will Nintendo Go After The Apple (AAPL) iPhone?

TechCrunch is reporting that Nintendo has filed a patent for a handheld device with a sensor control. That would mirror a key function of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone. And, Apple is already working on adding gaming to its handset Some of the games for the Nintendo DS handheld sell more than 10 million units a year.

While it may not be much of a hurdle for Apple to move the iPhone to some level of video game functionality, it would be more difficult for the DS to move into the talking handset world. The chipsets are very different, and the Japanese company would need an alliance with a major carrier like Verizion Wireless.

That is, of coure, unless a Nintendo DS game device used WiFi and VoIP for its phone function. That could make its call feature free. And, with the Sprint (S) and Clearwire (CLWR) nationwide WiMax networks going online, Nintendo might find some very willing partners if it wants to use the new wireless standard.

Douglas A. McIntyre