Apple’s first experiment with touchscreens on Macs produced the Touch Bar recently, but the iPhone maker might be considering something a lot more ambitious in the future. Apple Insider has discovered a patent filing that covers laptops that include docks for an iPhone or iPad. In one example an iPhone can be docked into the trackpad section of the laptop, providing the processor, graphics card, memory, and storage for the entire device. The iPhone would then be used as the trackpad.
The laptop itself would include a display and batteries to power the experience, much like how HP’s LapDock works. Apple’s patent for the iPad would see the tablet docking into the display portion, with a trackpad supplied on the laptop instead. Again, the iPad would power the entire experience, with the ability to even add more storage and an additional GPU into the base of the laptop.
Apple’s patent was first filed in September, but like many patents it doesn’t mean Apple will ever bring this type of product to the market. The company is likely experimenting with a number of different ways to progress the flexibility of the iPad. Apple introduced a Pro version of its popular tablet back in 2015, with an Apple Pencil stylus and Smart Keyboard to turn the iPad into a more laptop-like experience.