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Development of MacBook type dock that can combine iPhone and iPad? Apple applies for patent-Engadget Japan

Apple / USPTO

Recent iPhones and iPads have processing capabilities comparable to or better than notebook PCs, but not all operations are easy because the operation is limited to the touch panel by itself.

To meet these needs, it has become clear that Apple has applied for a patent for a dock that can be docked on an iPhone or iPad and used like a MacBook Pro. A patent entitled "Electronic accessory device" filed by Apple with the United States Patent and Trademark Office [USPTO] is an electronic accessory device that can be used to extend and expand the usefulness of portable computing devices. To explain. "

In the past, Apple has released a device called "usually a mobile device, another thing to put in the dock". It appeared from 1992PowerBook Duo seriesIt was a small, lightweight subnotebook Mac that could be used as a desktop PC when folded and connected to the "Duo Dock".

One of the attached drawings depicts a device like a MacBook Pro, but the trackpad is replaced by a slot for inserting an iPhone. In another drawing, there is usually a slot where the iPad fits where the display is. The concept isNexDock 2It is similar to, but it shows a closer sense of unity.
At first glance, this device has the MacBook Pro form factor, but patent documents say it is just an "accessory device" for the iPhone and other "host devices" [the body]. It is emphasized that it is a peripheral device and not a computing device that can be used alone.

Such accessories "may have limited or no data processing resources", that is, there may be no processor. Instead, it states that a display and keyboard can be included like a notebook PC.

In addition, it can “ include memory resources '', that is, it can incorporate additional memory and “ can provide auxiliary processing resources such as graphic processing units and GPUs, or other processing resources that can support the functions of portable computing devices '' is.

To enable such resources to be used, "it can include a connection mechanism such as a port to facilitate communication between the accessory device and the host device." The above PowerBook Duo also had a docking connector, which provided access to various resources.

Large tech companies like Apple have filed many patents every week, of which only a few can be commercialized. However, if it does, it will be able to work on a large screen like a MacBook Pro while taking advantage of the available processing power of the latest iPhone, which seems to be an attractive option.


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