An Apple patent application (20080002350) for “Integrated monitor and docking station” published today shows an Apple portable (looks like an ultra-thin, ultra-light one – hint, hint) sliding into an Apple monitor (or iMac-type computer).

MacDailyNews Note: This patent was filed quite some time ago: on July 3, 2006 and just published today.

Apple’s Abstract:
A docking station is disclosed. The docking station includes a display and a housing configured to hold the display in a manner that exposes a viewing surface of the display to view. The housing defines a docking area configured to receive a portable computer; The docking area is at least partly obscured by the display when viewed from the viewing surface side of the display at an angle substantially orthogonal to the viewing surface.

Apple’s description:
Traditionally a portable computer docking station requires a separate external monitor to be connected (e.g., by cable) to the docking station when a display other than the integrated display of the portable computer is desired to be used with the docking station. Often a significant amount of desk space is required for placement of this docking station and separate display. Attempts have been made to conserve the required amount of desk space by allowing the external display to be stacked on top of the docking station. However, the stacked combination still occupies a large amount of space and is cumbersome to move and transport. Therefore there exists a need for a docking station and display combination that is configured in a more efficient form.

The full patent app is here.

Gizmodo has a nice image of how this might really look here.

[Attribution: Gizmodo. Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers "Davey" and "Linux Guy And Mac Prodigal Son" for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Aren’t we (long over)due for a new monitor lineup right about now? And an ultra-portable, too? Do you think this is something Apple might actually be pursuing or is it just a ruse intended to throw competition off-track?