Last December, I wrote the following in this newsletter at http://bit.ly/2nNh4gC:
“Today, the smartphone can become a person’s only computer, used alone when away from home or the office, then used with a “docking station” when at home or at the office. Of course, most smartphones already have internal cameras, even webcams. With a docking station to accommodate a keyboard, a larger screen, stereo speakers, printers, scanners, and more, today’s home computer may soon become a thing of the past.”
I also wrote:
“Will your next PC be a smartphone? Do you really need a desktop computer for checking email, surfing the web, or doing genealogy research? The smartphones of today will do most everything your present desktop computer can do.”
It looks like some people agree with me. One company with plans for converting a smartphone into a desktop or laptop computer is a rather well-known producer of personal computers and of smartphones: Apple.
A new patent application from Apple shows the company is toying with the idea of a laptop powered by an iPhone that’s docked face up where the touchpad is normally positioned.
Apple calls the laptop an “accessory device.” That is, the computer with memory, storage space, and wireless networking is in the smartphone while the “accessory device” adds a bigger display, a full sized screen, and a real keyboard.
In the drawing above, you can see the smartphone (which we can assume is an iPhone) simply drops into a cavity in the “laptop” and supplies all the computing power, local storage, and networking. The “shell” that looks like a “shell” performs like a laptop and supplies everything else.
The user can carry the smartphone easily in a pocket or purse and have all the basic functionality of a computer with him or her at all times. Obviously, that combination will be hampered by the small screen and limited keyboard. However, the same user also could pull out the laptop “shell,” drop the smartphone into a cavity in the shell, and use it in the same manner as a laptop.
Optionally, the same user could take it home and connect a 30-inch screen or larger, a larger keyboard, and whatever peripherals he or she wishes. He or she obviously would not be limited by today’s smartphone technology.
Why purchase a smartphone AND a laptop AND a desktop computer? One device could perform all three functions, provided it had the proper accessories. I suspect the total price would be significantly cheaper than purchasing all three separate items.
As I wrote in December,
“Yes, I believe that a smartphone will become a desktop replacement within a very few years. In fact, it has become my primary computer today.
“Oh, yeah: you can also use a smartphone to make phone calls.”