Apple’s next MacBook could completely reinvent the wheel and be powered by your iPhone

Future Apple Macbook models could get their power from the iPhone in a novel idea that would put the smartphone at the centre of everything.

Filings that turned up at the US Patent and Trademark Office cover a variety of new ideas, but the most interesting involves using an iPhone to power MacBooks.

An image in the patent shows an oblong-shaped slot where the touchpad once existed and in its place a smartphone would power the whole show.

Whilst the laptop clam shell would still provide the display, keyboard, GPU and ports, the iPhone would take on most of the heavy lifting, usually done by a CPU.

Macbook with iPhone

Credit: Apple Insider

Having an iPhone slot into that position almost certainly means it will be used as a touch pad, and a more intuitive one at that. After all, the larger iPhone 7 Plus isn’t that far off the size of the current touch pad.

That wasn’t the only sketch in the filing, another showing an iPad as the screen inside a laptop shell. Even so, it’s highly unlikely any of them will disrupt Apple’s current computing line-up.

Of course, as with all patents, there’s no guarantee we’ll see an actual consumer product based on the plans. A patent is just a way for companies to protect an idea, and not an indication of confirmed upcoming devices.

Apple’s plans differ to Samsung’s DeX Station dock, which we saw for the first time yesterday. That turns the Galaxy S8 into a desktop PC much like Microsoft’s Continuum for Windows Mobile.

Watch: What we know about the iPhone 8

Would you ever ditch a regular MacBook for something like this? Let us know in the comments below.