MacBooks could one day feature a glass form factor alongside dual-display and built-in wireless iPhone charger

MacBook Pro on a table
(Image credit: Joseph Kelle/Future)

Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that has to do with a possible future MacBook. At the heart of the patent application, No. 20220326777, is a laptop constructed with a glass form. The details here seem to match or extend an Apple patent awarded in June for a dual-display MacBook with a built-in wireless iPhone charger.

According to Patently Apple (opens in new tab), the most recent patent application, Apple's possible product would include a glass-top MacBook interface that's reconfigurable to represent a virtual keyboard, a game controller, or a music/entertainment controller. The area could also serve as a reverse charging area for products like the iPhone and Apple Watch.

New additions

Apple initially filed for this patent in 2018. In the latest application, the company added 20 new patent claims to their invention. 

Patently Apple went through each of those claims and highlighted some key points our readers will probably most appreciate. Among these: 

... and a sensing system comprising: a first sensing system configured to determine a location of a touch input applied to the top surface of the base portion; and a second sensing system configured to determine a force of the touch input. ... wherein the top case is formed from a single glass member. ... a second display within the base portion and viewable through the top case. ...the second display is configured to display an image of a keyboard in a keyboard region of the top case.

Patently Apple

As we noted previously, Apple's patent also makes provisions for displays using both LCDs, LEDs, and OLED display technology, something we've heard rumored for future MacBooks in 2024.

All this (continues to) sound interesting. However, none of these advances may come to a future Apple product.

One nearly certain thing: the soon-to-be-announced 2022 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models won't look much different than the current models. Instead, they are only expected to feature chip updates inside. 

Earlier this year, Apple unveiled its M2 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro (2022).

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.