It appears there may have been more to the story of Apple banning single radio station apps from the App Store back in Nov.  Patently Apple has uncovered a new filing that shows the company has filed a patent for a map-based radio app that combines GPS, a map application and AM/FM/Satellite tuners to bring you a selection of stations as well as information on their signal strength.

iPhone radio app patent

As we can see in the map you will be presented with the stations closest to you along with their call letters, genre and signal strength.  Apparently this will work with both AM and FM, and there are mentions of a satellite tuner also, so it appears it will work with Sirius XM also.  In the second image shown above you can see that you can have preset stations like on a normal radio, and you will also get information on the song playing including the song title and the performer.

As this patent was filed in the United States there is no indication if there are any plans for it to be released in other territories that have the iPhone, but there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why it wouldn’t be at some point.

Before anyone goes thinking this is a done deal, Apple files for a ton of patents, and some of them never even get past the filing sage and into the labs, let alone into production models.  However, with the combination of the fact there will be no more single radio station apps, and the fact we are entering the iPhone 5 rumor period, it seems like this might have a chance at coming to be.

There is sure to be more about this in the coming months, and we’ll learn how much of it is true come summer 2011 when the inevitable next iteration of the iPhone is announced.

What say you?  Is Apple about to get serious about radio?