Patent Watch: iPhone Dock and Battery Swaps?

Apple patents are strange and mysterious things. Like sums over futures, they give us a peek at thousands of strands of potentiality, but no clue about eventuality. In other words, Apple patents tons of stuff, most of which we never see in actual consumer products. Some of these, however, are pretty interesting looking. The Register says:

One of the applications describes a "host machine" - looking much like an iMac in the accompanying drawings - that has battery-charging slots built into its body.

A second describes how the host machine could communicate wirelessly with mobile devices to monitor their battery power, notify users when it was time for a charge, and talk with other host machines about the state of the batteries it's servicing.

A third describes a "intelligent universal rechargeable batteries" with pop-off end-caps that allow "battery chemicals" to be swapped out when they've reached the end of their productive lives.

The Black&Decker approach of one-battery-to-charge-them-all seems so un-Apple, but it would be convenient to a large segment of handy consumers. TiPb also recalls a previous patent that showed a MacBook docking into an iMac, so why not go from broke, Apple, and give us the iPhone to MacBook to iMac "Russian Doll" gadget? Check out the full article, linked above, for all the details, and let us know which, if any, tempt you.

(Thanks to Phil, news editor over at sibling site WMExperts for the tip!)

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Patent Watch: iPhone Dock and Battery Swaps?


only going to say this once... If ever... in the life of the iPhone they EVER come out with a removable battery i will no longer own an iPhone.

This seems like a big, fat, royal mess. I can only imagine that this is an old patent that they've since moved away from. Apple is definitely trending AWAY from removable batteries, and this would be a complete 180 degree turn. I'm with iPhoneMilk. Don't waste space in my phone with a removable battery.

I have never owned two batteries for my phone just charge and go my car charger is around in case of an emergency

I tend to agree, none but the power users will NEED a replaceable battery. There are plenty of other charging options for a phone.

Apple should, as a joke, file a patent for a spaceship - it would send the Apple patent watchers crazy!