Is the future of the MacBook the iPhone? That’s what a recently published patent awarded to Apple suggests. The paperwork includes a design for a laptop shell that would possibly be powered by an iPhone, also raising the question of whether or not Apple plans to merge its desktop and mobile operating systems sometime in the future.
Of course, companies (especially Apple) secure patents on all kinds of ideas, so this shouldn’t be taken as a definite sign of things to come. After all, the idea of a clamshell laptop powered by a smartphone has been tried many times before, and has never caught on – Asus played around with the idea about five years ago, and we’ve also seen crowdfunded projects and, more recently, the HP Elite x3. But, Apple has a solid track record of succeeding where others have failed, so who knows?
According to the patent, it looks like Apple’s version of the idea is a bit more slick. Instead of relying on a USB connection or a dock on the backside of the laptop, the iPhone would sit in a groove where the touchpad would normally be. This would make a lot more sense, as it would be easier to quickly remove the phone if the necessary. It also opens up the possibility for a sort of dynamic touchpad – in a way, it’d be similar to the Touch Bar Apple implemented in the new MacBook Pro.
Then again, it probably wouldn’t make as much sense for Pro users, who need processing power that the iPhone can’t quite provide. But, for the everyday Apple user, it could be an intriguing way to not have to shell out big bucks for both an iPhone and a MacBook.