Apple patent application outlines an iPhone-powered notebook

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,278   +132
Staff member

Apple may soon be channeling its inner Motorola and Asus if a product described in a recent patent application ever comes to fruition.

Filed in September and published on Thursday, the patent in question outlines the use of an iPhone to “power” a clamshell-style notebook. What’s unique about Apple’s approach is that, unlike the Motorola Atrix or the Asus PadFone which used a mobile device solely as the brains of the operation, a mated iPhone would also serve as the laptop’s touchpad.

Again, the concept isn’t new and thus far, hasn’t been successful. Why would Apple think its prospects are any better?

The aforementioned devices (especially the Atrix) were way ahead of their time and by today’s standard, they weren’t very powerful. Perhaps more importantly, the phones were designed primarily to work with the hardware accessories. The iPhone, on the other hand, is already in use by hundreds of millions of people.

Another variant on Apple’s concept would involve using an iPad as the device’s screen and for power although this doesn’t seem all that different from a standard keyboard case.

All things considered, I’m not sold on this being a great idea largely because it has already been tried by multiple companies and never took off. Having a patent on it is fine to protect the touchpad idea but personally, I’d be surprised if Apple brings something like this to market.

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ikesmasher

Posts: 3,112   +1,512
I think this is a pretty good idea and im usually one of the first to scoff at apple. It is a bit limited by being iOS but its still plenty useful for people who just wanna web browse or type notes or things like that.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,098   +3,257
The only real limiter on this is the processing power of the iphone... assuming they have no intentions to market this for a few years, there is no reason not to believe that eventually the iPhone will be about as powerful as many midstream laptops...

Assuming the "clamshell" part of the iPhone was fairly inexpensive, this could basically take the place of the MacBook Air, as well as compete against the Surface Book....
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,289
The only real limiter on this is the processing power of the iphone... assuming they have no intentions to market this for a few years, there is no reason not to believe that eventually the iPhone will be about as powerful as many midstream laptops...

Assuming the "clamshell" part of the iPhone was fairly inexpensive, this could basically take the place of the MacBook Air, as well as compete against the Surface Book....
You used the words Apple "iPhone" & "inexpensive" in the same sentence. I assume it's an honest mistake and you never noticed it so I thought I'd just point it out for amending... ;)
 

GreenNova343

Posts: 441   +330
So...they think they can sell the "laptop" shell as the "ultimate" iPhone accessory.

And that's precisely what it will be...an accessory for your current iPhone. You bought the case that works with your iPhone 6? Sorry, it won't work with the iPhone 7 Plus you just upgraded to, because they're different sizes. Oh, you decided to get the new iPhone X? Sorry, that has the new "Lightfoot" connector instead of the old Lighting port, so it won't work with your shell.

Just another way they hope to take consumers' cash...
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,098   +3,257
You used the words Apple "iPhone" & "inexpensive" in the same sentence. I assume it's an honest mistake and you never noticed it so I thought I'd just point it out for amending... ;)
Yeah... it was based on a wild assumption :)
So...they think they can sell the "laptop" shell as the "ultimate" iPhone accessory.

And that's precisely what it will be...an accessory for your current iPhone. You bought the case that works with your iPhone 6? Sorry, it won't work with the iPhone 7 Plus you just upgraded to, because they're different sizes. Oh, you decided to get the new iPhone X? Sorry, that has the new "Lightfoot" connector instead of the old Lighting port, so it won't work with your shell.

Just another way they hope to take consumers' cash...
Well, the PATENT just came in now... so it's not going to exist for awhile... think like for the iPhone 9 or something... and obviously it will only be for whatever the current iPhone model is... can your Samsung case fit all your Samsung phones? No... this is how ALL companies sell accessories... not just Apple...
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,508   +3,776
I like this idea. Being able to use my iphone as a mobile laptop as well would be cool.

I wonder how this will work with cases though. I use otterbox defenders, which wont fit in this kind of clamshell.