Patent report: Apple accessory device could turn an iPhone or iPad into a laptop

I could go for this: Apple has filed for a patent (number 2017003048) dubbed “electronic accessory device” that would turn an iPhone or iPad into a full-fledged laptop. It involves 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.” The accessory device — which has a niche into which an iOS device can be inserted — can have a form factor corresponding to a laptop, sporting data output resources such as a visual display and input resources. 

It can also include memory resources, which — if the invention ever materialized — would help overcome the storage options in iPhones and iPads. The accessory device would also offer additional functionality, such as a large display, enhanced audio capabilities, and input means such as a mouse, track pad and keyboard. However, unlike current Mac laptops, the accessory device would have a touchscreen.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.

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