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.