Apple’s iPhone 5 integrated touch display tech revealed; may come to all Macs eventually

“During Apple’s iPhone-5 event in September 2012, Phil Schiller introduced Apple’s new, highly advanced ‘Integrated Touch’ display that was one of the upgrades that made the iPhone 5 so much lighter than previous generations,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Today, Apple’s In-Cell display patent application has come to light,” Purcher reports. “Yet perhaps the real story here is that Apple has clearly stated that this technology could apply to Macs and went out of their way to list the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and even a future iMac.”

Purcher writes, “So contrary to Tim Cook’s adamant position that Apple has no interest in creating a hybrid MacBook-iPad variant whatsoever, today’s patent filing shows that Apple’s engineers were obviously given different instructions that contradict Apple’s ‘marketing position.’ If the new Ultrabook Convertible segment becomes a run-away hit over the next 24 months, it’s clear that Apple has a backup plan…”

Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations and diagrams, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: MacPad.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. “So contrary to Tim Cook’s adamant position that Apple has no interest in creating a hybrid MacBook-iPad variant whatsoever, today’s patent filing shows that Apple’s engineers were obviously given different instructions that contradict Apple’s ‘marketing position.’”

    Absolutely not true. Large corporations patent things all the time that they are unlikely to ever market. They can be used as defensive patents in a patent fight. Company A goes after company B for violating patent N, but company B has Patent X on what it does not sell but company A does sell. Company B threatens to counter sue about Patent X if they can’t reach a compromise on Patent N. This has been happening for several decades. AMD and Intel have done this kind of thing on and off for at least three decades. IBM and DEC did it. The list goes on and on.

    If your engineers have a good, patentable idea there is very, very little downside to patenting it even if you are unlikely to market a device based upon that patent.

    1. Correct. MacPad would be so heavy that it could be barely movable. The best version of it could be similar to HP’s desktop PC, which is like iMac, but the screen could be moved/lowered to almost horizontal position so it could be used via touch controls.

      Apple had the chance to make iMac that way, but they decided not to do so. So they will hardly do it.

  2. I never thought I would like the iPad as much as I do. Now we have one for each person in the house and I spend time on it everyday. I rarely use the iMac anymore (once a week?) and using touch with the iPad is so easy and intuitive I think I would like to at least have the option on future MacBooks and iMacs.


  3. GorillaArm is not really an issue. Microsoft has just done some extensive research on this and have found that people use touch on a desktop in different ways that do not lead to fatigue.

  4. I just don’t get the benefit of touch on a laptop or desktop computer, perhaps if the screen was embedded in your desktop. But to have to stretch your arm out to use a touchscreen? I’m not feeling the love there.

  5. Looks like he invented a market segment the Microsoft Surface dominates, “the Ultrabook Convertible”. And I hear the Surface has been selling out at retailers across the country. Some of them have sold as many as two. Just where in this Convertible do the extra long charging cable fit and external storage devices fit?

  6. I don’t think you’ll see touch on laptops for awhile. It just doesn’t add much to their usefulness, and until more of the population gets touch interfaces ingrained in them, I don’t see masses of people wanting touch MacBooks, and certainly not iMacs.

  7. Microsoft extensive research! Boy…that is either an oxymoron or they mis-read a copy of Apple’s research on the gorilla arm matter on desktop or laptop computers.

    Why would I reach several inches constantly, when all I have to do is move my fingertip on the track pad?

    Why would I want to periodically have to clean my computer screen due to smudges?

    Why would I always want to sit at a desk or table rather than an easy chair (where I am right now)?

    Let’s do a simple experiment:

    Using your trackpad or mouse, move the cursor from one corner of you screen diagonally to the other. Now compare your screen size to how much your finger (mouse) moved. That is quick ratio of how much more time for input you will be taking by touching the screen. So you will be less effective.

    Sometimes you will need two hands versus two fingers as you attempt to zoom in or out on something. Unless, of course, you have gorilla hands. And don’t forget about cleaning the screen.

    Next thing you know, they will want fingertip touch controls on the TV screen. Then you can have some gorilla legs to match.

  8. I would take a macbook air that flipped open to become an iPad, the flipped keyboard would be the perfect stand on a tray on the plane for watching movies!

    Then i could flip it open and get some work done !-)

  9. One day I will own a Macintosh devoid of keyboard and mouse.

    The display will lay flat with a 10º offset and feature a trolly system chaining displays like trains, allowing them to be moved as a unit gliding effortlessly on a stainless steel track that loops around your workspace providing power and communication in any location.

    Microsoft invented the Big Assed Table (BAT) while attempting to build a laptop from scratch! You know how it is with coders, they’ll eventually trim the fat and the table will begin to shrink but Apple is safe for the moment.

    The Gorilla Arm argument will be moot when Apple shows the world what a “surface” computer looks and acts like; a multitouch display that looks like a 24-inch iPad laying square in the middle of my desk but moves effortlessly around the desk.

    Forget about fingerprints and messy displays, that’s the past. The next ten-years will be all about a reduction in the computer interface and when Apple fired the opening salvo across the bow of the tech industry, signaling a shift away from keyboards and mice which are so 20th Century, Apple will instead focus on all of our senses for I/O.

  10. Yeah, Touchscreen Mac would weigh as much as a boat anchor, therefore it’s rediculous to even consider it. Wait! Microsoft came out with the surface pro! And it doesn’t weigh as much as much as a boat anchor! But it’s not apple so it’s junk. Just keep thinking that way guys

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