Apple’s new patent points to iPhone-powered laptop

Apple could possibly be thinking of a different kind of computing experience. The idea is to turn your iPhone into a full-fledged computer. The US Patent and Trademark Office has published an Apple patent filing describing a way by which you would dock your iPhone into the MacBook-like shell and power it using the smartphone. The patent application, which was earlier discovered by Apple Insider, is called, simply “Electronic accessory device”.

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The patent application, which was earlier discovered by Apple Insider, is called, simply “Electronic accessory device”. An image in the patent shows a dump laptop terminal, featuring a slot near the trackpad where you can dock it the iPhone. While the laptop still provides the screen, keyboard, GPU and ports, the iPhone will only act as the trackpad but also used to drive the whole unit. And that’s not all. There’s another sketch that shows the iPad as the screen inside the laptop chassis.

As always, there’s no guarantee whether Apple would go ahead with its plans to turn the dump laptop terminal “smart” with the help of an iPhone. But it does give us an idea of how Apple is thinking to bridge the gap between a smartphone and laptop. The patent application is interesting in a sense that in the future 2-in-1 hybrids could get power from the smartphone.

For now, no company has managed to merge the smartphone and laptop yet. HP Elite X3 is one such example, which connects to a laptop-style dock using Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum. In the past, Motorola tried something similar with its Atrix smartphone which when slip it into a Lapdock that transformed into an 11.6-inch netbook.

Apple’s plans are completely different from Samsung’s DeX Station for the Galaxy S8, which was reported earlier this week. Basically, the DeX Station accessory turns the Galaxy S8 into a desktop computer similar to that of Microsoft’s Continuum for Windows Mobile.

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