Is Apple planning to manufacture a ‘convertible’ MacBook?


It isn’t exactly a secret that Apple have had seemingly little interest in manufacturing and marketing a notebook or desktop with a display assembly that– out-of-the-box — accepts touch input. However, a patent application submitted by Apple which was approved by the US Patent & Trademark Office recently says otherwise.

United States Patent Application 20130084796 describes some of what could be the feature-set used by a convertible MacBook (as pictured above). Noteworthy excerpts include:

~ While the display can be removed from the base, like traditional ‘convertibles’, the display houses a “wireless chip (for) communicating with the base wireless chip, and a power wireless chip in communication with the power source. Essentially, this technology would allow a user to send input to the display when it no longer connected to the base, which houses the system internals.

~ This patent also implies that inductive charging plays a role in solving the ever-present battery life issues that consistently plague notebooks and tablets. Details are sketchy, but the patent documentation notes that “when the display is at least in one position with respect to the base, the power source transmits power to the power transition member of the display”. Electricity is pushed from the base to the ‘hinges’ on the display.

It is important to note that manufacturers do not always create products using technology or manufacturing processes that they patent– so do not be surprised if you navigate to the official Apple website tomorrow morning and find that you can’t place an order for a device that shares similar aesthetics to the one pictured above– however, it is certainly interesting that Apple would place the effort into filing an application for such technology.

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