Under the newly approved technology patent, Apple is exploring how to put the iPhone and iPad into devices like the MacBook Pro to provide additional functionality when necessary. According to patent illustrations, future iOS devices will be part of computer devices such as the MacBook Pro to provide additional functionality. The concept is a bit like the PowerBook Duo of decades ago, when a single device was installed to create a desktop Mac.
In a summary of the patent number 10,545,542, the patent name “Electronic Accessories Devices”, it reads: “The appearance of a laptop computer, including design and weight, is important to the user because it helps the user gain an overall impression of the portable computing device.” However, due to the limitations of available space, portable computing devices may require additional resources to provide extended functionality. “
A MacBook Pro-like device is shown in the patent illustration, where the trackpad section has been replaced with an iPhone slot. The other illustration shows the same device, but an iPad is placed on the screen. The device has a MacBook Pro form factor, but Apple’s patent describes it as an “accessory device” or other small “host device” for the iPhone alone.
“This accessory device may have limited data processing resources or may not have,” the patent reads. Accessories devices can have a form factor that corresponds to a laptop, so they can include data output resources such as visual displays and input resources such as keyboards. “
“The attachment device may also include memory resources,” the patent reads. The attachment device can include a port with a connection mechanism that is arranged to facilitate communication between the attachment device and the host device. In this way, the host device utilizes the resources provided by the attachment device. “
While most of the instructions and all the drawings show the iPhone and iPad, Apple believes this docking feature is a feature that many devices can use.