We’ve been hearing about an iPhone being integrated into a laptop dock for a while now, but this solution seems to finally be ready for prime time. First applied by Motorola with its Atrix lapdock and then expanded by the ASUS PadFone, the idea was taken to a new level by the Microsoft Continuum. Now Apple is doing its own variation of the concept.

A series of patent sketches seem to show off the fact that in the future the iPhone could be turned into a MacBook trackpad of sorts. The recent patent filing shows the iPhone being docked to the MacBook and it’s very likely that its content would instantly appear on the dock device’s screen. This also feels like the HP Lap Dock/ HP Elite x3 idea.

An approach has been tailor made for the iPad as well, with a keyboard dock receiving the slate in its upper portion, as shown by the sketch below. After the iPad is docked, the trackpad and keyboard will be used to control it. These are mere patents, so it doesn’t mean Apple is actually going to use them but the idea makes sense. Since the 2 in 1 segment is so big right now Apple may want to capitalize on it.

However, I have a feeling that this is more of a 2018/2019 product than a 2017 one.