Apple patent involves Mac laptops with easily removed solid state drives

So far Apple has made it more and more difficult to upgrade its various devices. However, a newly granted patent (number 9,904,333) involves Macs — especially Mac laptops — with easily replaced solid state drives (SSDs).

The patent, dubbed “SSD related features of a portable computer,” involves a removable assembly for quickly inserting and removing a mass storage device from a compartment situated on the case of a portable computing device. The removable assembly is made of a mass storage device, a bracket which serves as a carrier for the mass storage device, and a metal plate. 

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In some embodiments, the mass storage device is a solid state drive (SSD) card. The bracket is a single-piece plastic structure that is deflected for snap insertion into the compartment and snap removal from the compartment. The metal plate conducts heat from the solid state drive (SSD) card to prevent the SSD from overheating.

In the patent filing, Apple notes manufacturers have attempted to produce portable computing devices having smaller dimensions with the result that the space allocated for each of the various components therein has been reduced. However, reduction of the space allocate

Mass storage devices may fail or temporarily operate improperly when subjected to forces during impacts that exceed a certain level. Or they may run out of storage space with the user wishing to install a drive with more capacity. Apple says there’s a desire for a mechanism that would allow for quick and easy replacement of mass storage devices mounted in portable computing devices. 

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.