“Apple has filed a patent application with the USPTO for a hybrid USB/SD port which combines a USB port with SD card slot to save space to make notebooks slimmer,” Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report for DigiTimes.

“Ultrabook vendors are concerned because they are worried that if Apple obtains the patent, it will gain the upper hand in competition for slim notebooks, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers,” Lee and Tsai report. “The sources pointed out that Apple’s patents for MacBook Air’s wedge-shape industrial design in June 2012 already forced many brand vendors to [not] use the design, which can significantly reduce the size and weight of the system.”

Lee and Tsai report, “With the hybrid USB/SD port patent, the sources are concerned that it could give Apple more advantages in design.”

Read more in the full article here.