Apple Patents Accessory That Could Turn iPhone or iPad into a Laptop


Apple may never release a Microsoft Surface-like hybrid laptop, but that doesn’t mean that the company isn’t exploring alternative ideas.

Apple Insider points to a patent that Apple has filed which indicates that the company may be designing accessories to turn your iPhone or iPad into a laptop. In one example, the iPhone is placed where a MacBook’s trackpad should go.

The patent’s abstract provides a few hints as to what Apple may be working on:

“The present application describes various embodiments of systems and methods for providing internal components for portable computing devices having a thin profile. More particularly, the present application describes an electronic accessory device available to extend and expand usefulness of a portable computing device.”

In another example, an iPad is placed in the area where a laptop’s screen is supposed to be. Both situations detail scenarios where the iOS device would provide power to the accessory. It’s also worth noting that the accessories, in either case, would be useless without a “host” device.

As always, just because a patent has been filed doesn’t mean we’ll see it turned into a product. Only time will tell if Apple will create such an accessory.

[via AppleInsider]


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  • Normand

    Why would you need to physically connect to the laptop?
    You should be able to remotely connect. Easy Peasy!

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  • I think the power is the point. Remote connection means the ‘accessory’ needs its own power. Using the device means still having one device (laptop), but it’s now a different device. No need for yet another accessory to provide power. Ideally. (though powering a full screen from the phone means higher consumption)

    I’d prefer if the accessory had the _option_ to plug in and also provide power to main source.

    Because of the vast differences between a phone, a pad, and a laptop, I’m sure I’d love an accessory like this that can ‘turn’ my phone effectively into a laptop.