The U.S Patent and Trademark Office has revealed news of a patent application filed by Apple for a new laptop-like gadget device. The device is said to look very much like the traditional MacBook with an aluminium enclosure, a display, a keyboard, a battery, a GPU, CPU, and ports. Instead, the touchpad would be replaced by an iPhone slot potentially allowing the processing, touch input, and wireless communication to be powered by the iPhone.
According to the U.S Patent and Trademark office, Apple first filed the patent application for an iPhone powered laptop in September 2015 but has only just been published on the 23rd of March 2017. This suggests Apple has been exploring new ideas to expand its products’ and use of its mobile devices for some time, looking to enable the ability to quickly alter from smartphone convenience to high efficiency and dexterous computer usage.
The iPhone 6’s 5.5-inch display is almost the same size as a Macbook trackpad, which means when the phone itself is placed into the recess in the middle area the iPhone will replace and serve as the trackpad. There have also been talks that this will accommodate a communications interface or Lightning connector to transfer power. The host device could transfer data via wifi or Bluetooth and also extend the host device’s capabilities using the accessory’s onboard memory. The patent includes a design that will use an iPad to replace the screen but with a touchpad below the keyboard which no other Apple device uses at the moment.
For the moment the details available are quite vague, however, it shows Apple is thinking how they can bridge the gap between mobile and computing devices. With stiff competition from the new Google Chromebooks that feature touchscreens and access to the Google Play app store and tablet sales shrinking, every tech company is looking to address new revolutionised niches such as mobile computing.
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