Sure, Apple's greatest love is technology, but it's second greatest love is patent filing. And it turns out that Cupertino filed for one way back in June 2008 that describes contact icons on a smartphone home screen. That's something that we've been doing on Android for a while now. But the patent filing goes a bit further. Here's the exact verbage.
An icon can be created for a contact (e.g., an individual(s) or an entity) and presented on a user interface of a mobile device, such as a "home screen." The icon can be used to retrieve and display contact information. The icon can also be used to invoke one or more applications that are personalized to the contact. The icon can be modified to display information related to the contact. In one aspect, an icon associated with an entity can be temporarily displayed on the mobile device based on the proximity of the mobile device to the entity. The icon can be used to retrieve and display information related to the entity. Additionally, the icon can be removed from the display on the mobile device when the mobile device is no longer within a certain proximity of the entity.
Hmmmm. A location-based icon homescreen. Sounds interesting, but do you really want your home screen changing that drastically depending on who's near you? [U.S. Patent Office via Redmond Pie/The iPhone Blog]