Apple patent application reveals MacBook with iPad as display, MacBook with iPhone as touchpad

“A US patent application filed in September 2016 points to an accessory that look like a traditional clamshell laptop, but has an iPhone-sized slot instead of a touchpad,” Joshua Goldman reports for CNET.

“The patent suggests the iPhone could potentially handle the processing part as well as touch input and wireless communications,” Goldman reports. “The patent also includes a design where the screen is replaced with an iPad, similar to designs like the Incipio ClamCase Bluetooth keyboard, but with the addition of a touchpad below the keyboard.”

Goldman reports, “With tablet sales continuing to shrink, this could extend the usefulness of an entry-level iPad like the one announced earlier this week.”


Apple’s patent application abstract states: “The present application describes various embodiments of systems and methods for providing internal components for portable computing devices having a thin profile. More particularly, the present application describes an electronic accessory device available to extend and expand usefulness of a portable computing device.”



Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What was that we asked back in October 2014? Oh, right:

Anyone in the market for a 12.9-inch device that’s an OS X-powered MacBook when docked with its keyboard base and an iOS-powered iPad when undocked? — MacDailyNews, October 7, 2014


  1. Basically a fancy keyboard, and I’m guessing dual iOS/macOS, with a tight integration between OS’es, or are they making the Windows mistake and creating a hybrid OS that is garbage as both?

    1. This is pretty bad. Deluded.

      There is no need to meld an iPhone with a laptop and an iPad.

      We need a new redesigned opersting system and a new class of devices.

      This is just outright ridiculous.

  2. I think people are reading this wrong. The patent says it is an electronic accessory device. That would be the thing that is holding the iPad and the iPhone. It’s probably just a case that holds the iPhone and the iPad let you charge them simultaneously and provide you with the keyboard for both. It does not appear to be a MacBook of any kind. It will be yet another alternative to the Mac, not a compliment.

    1. [0020] The accessory device can take many forms. Configured along the lines of a laptop, the accessory device can include a multi-part housing having a top case and a bottom case. The top case can be joined to the bottom case at a reveal to form a laptop accessory device. The laptop accessory device can have top case (i.e. an upper portion or lid) that can house a display screen and other related components, whereas the bottom case (i.e., base portion) can house various processors, drives, ports, battery, keyboard, touchpad and the like.

  3. Wake me up when an MDN report actually has something to say about an exciting new Mac Pro’s impending release because it’s been a long 3 year crickets-fest, tumbling tumbleweed and lonely desert “yellow sky” wind. To quote Clara Peller “Where’s the beef?”

  4. I think this would be awesome. Your iPhone is already a large storage device in addition to having a 64-bit processor. Why should we keep syncing our information between devices when we carry it with us all the time. This is our life drive and this would allow us to have use the same info on a big screen. I would WANT full OS X to be enabled in this mode. If an iPad is actually used as the monitor perhaps the phone and iPad processors can work together. They just need a 27″ iPad now. 😋

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