Steve Jobs-Apple illustration
Steve Jobs-Apple illustration. Image: Float Universe.

A new Apple patent surfaced on Thursday, depicting what looks like different versions of a dummy MacBook that pairs with other flagship products. An iPhone could transform into a trackpad while an iPad could become a display on this device.

The company filed these patents relatively recently, just last year in September. As with all things patented by any tech firm, it could be just a matter of registering their products with development potential. It does not mean these devices will ever even see the light of day.

What Apple did launch was two new iPhone models in blazing red aluminum to commemorate 10 years in partnership with RED, a humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting AIDS in Africa. A new $329 iPad is also set for release tomorrow.

Use your iPhone as a trackpad on your laptop

The first model the patent describes is a dummy terminal with the appearance of a MacBook but pretty much empty inside. It would have a keyboard and a display, but the trackpad would be absent.

Instead, there would be a slot with the shape of an iPhone on which the flagship would sit. The phone would become the brains of the terminal as well as the trackpad.

This entails that such a device would have to be at least as thick as an iPhone, and probably compatible only with last-generation models. Some experts imagine it would perform in a similar way to a Chromebook, running iOS instead of MacOS.

iPad tablets could turn into MacBook screens

A second hybrid model shows how a different variation of this device would use an iPad as a display, docking in the screen part of the laptop. That makes less sense than the first one, being virtually just an enhanced keyboard cover for the tablet.

It would also present more design challenges, as it would have to be sturdy enough on its base to withstand the weight of the iPad and still be stable. Apple users have a passion for lightweight products, so it seems like a strange choice for the company to consider that kind of design.

Rumors say these new devices could have a GPU inside to help them run more demanding applications and perform more difficult tasks. They would be made of aluminum like the rest of the company’s flagship lineup.

Source: 9to5 Mac