Is Apple building an iPhone-powered laptop?

Apple is not the first company to try to use a smartphone to power a computer


Tech Desk March 24, 2017
Apple’s application points towards an accessory that looks like a traditional clamshell laptop with an iPhone-sized slot at a place where usually touchpad is located. PHOTO COURTESY: APPLEINSIDER

A patent application filed in the US by the tech giant Apple revealed on Thursday hints at an iPhone or iPod-powered laptop.

Apple’s application, which was filed in September, for "Electronic accessory device" points towards an accessory that looks like a traditional clamshell laptop with an iPhone-sized slot at a place where the touchpad is usually located.

The device described in the application looks like a kind of "headless" device containing a large display, physical keyboard, GPU, ports and more, just like a regular laptop. From the application, it seems that it is incapable of functioning without a host. The casing would be using an iPhone or iPad that would fit into the laptop-esque piece of kit to handle the processing, filling in the role of CPU.

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The slot, which is located in the base portion, might also incorporate a communications interface and a means of power transfer, perhaps Lightning or a Smart Connector.

Additionally, the host device might also act as a multitouch touchpad, complete with Force Touch input and haptic feedback. It is pertinent to mention here that the surface area of a 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus is very similar to that of the trackpad on Apple's new MacBook Pro models.

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Further, the patent application also includes a design in which the screen is replaced with an iPad. Although the latest iPad Pro models can be used with an optional keyboard, they currently lack a touchpad.



Apple is not the first company to try to use a smartphone to power a computer. In 2011, tried something similar with Atrix 4G. However, in Motorola’s version, the device was on docked on the back of the laptop, rendering users unable to utilise the phone’s touch as a second screen.

In fact back in 2004, Apple itself filed for a similar patent for a media player system, which includes various ways to dock an iPod including a laptop and an iMac.

This article originally appeared on AppleInsider

COMMENTS (1)

Risail Ikwan As-Safa | 4 years ago | Reply It is absolutely wonderful to see this Tribune paper from Pakistan, taking a great step in journalism to discuss science and technology and patent literature. I urge this paper to make it more Urdu section where using vector font technology (not scan), please develop Urdu literature, with more Arabic grammar and Persian grammar sentence structure incorporated to develop a scientific literature in Urdu. The seminal reason I urge arabic/farsi is because these two languages are more succinct than Urdu. Just count the number of words for a simple sentence, "This is my book." in Urdu and compare it to Arabic, Haza Kitabi, and Persian, Ain Kitab Man Ast. In some places one is more compact. We find that Urdu is more verbose and it can be empowered by Arabic and Farsi besides giving window to our past literature in both these languages. Also, in addition to patents, do a regular review of scientific and manufacturing literature of the world to bring value to readers.
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