Apple just patented a completely brand new type of Mac

Mac Keyboard Patent
Mac Keyboard Patent (Image credit: USPTO / Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has patented a completely new type of Mac.
  • The company appears to be exploring a computer housed entirely within the confines of its Magic Keyboard.
  • A newly-published patent depicts a computer housed inside a keyboard that can be connected to an external display.

A newly-published Apple patent has revealed the company is considering a completely new type of Mac housed within the confines of an input device such as a keyboard.

A patent published today is titled 'computer in an input device' and reveals Apple is considering building a Mac that's components would be housed inside an input device like a Magic keyboard, creating a brand new type of all-in-one machine that could be used with any display.

Screenshot 2022 02 24

Screenshot 2022 02 24 (Image credit: USPTO / Apple)

Images depict a keyboard and a tray of components housed within the same form factor that could include a processing unit and memory, as well as a single I/O port for connection to an external display.

FIG. 1A shows an example of an electronic device, such as a computer or a computing device, as described herein. The computing device 100 shown in FIG. 1A can also function as an input device, such as a keyboard, and can be used with a display 102. This is, however, merely one representative example of a computing device that can be used in conjunction with the ideas disclosed herein. The computing device 100 can, for example, correspond to a virtual keyboard, a track pad or touchpad, a mouse, a tablet computer, a combination thereof, or other input devices. The computing device 100 shown in FIG. 1A can be generally referred to as a keyboard having computing components which permit the keyboard to function as a desktop computing device.

Apple says the primary function of the patent is a computer that can be used as a keyboard but says it could also cover something like a trackpad, touchpad, mouse, or tablet too.

Of course, just a patent at this stage, there's no indication Apple will ever release such a machine, but it is clear the company is at least considering a new type of all-in-one Mac that could be used with any display. Certainly, Apple silicon is making Apple's mobile computing technology more efficient than ever, so the company is certainly better placed to create such a device than it was while using Intel's chips.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9