Issue No. 204: A $500 MacBook Pro? Read up on how.

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Patent filings as marketing announcements are on the upswing. So far, none has garnered as much attention as CB Insight Analyst Zoe Levitt’s revelation of Amazon’s airborne fulfillment center. Ms. Levitt’s revelation was first covered in Issue no. 175 before TechCrunch’s Lora Kolodny picked it up for MSM distribution. We may have a new one on our hands.

According to today’s article in Verge:

Samsung, like Motorola and Microsoft before it, is trying to turn a phone into a PC. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 will pair with a new Samsung Desktop Experience (DeX) dock accessory to morph into a desktop PC-like environment. The specialized dock, that looks like a candle holder, supports a monitor connection via HDMI, keyboard, mouse, and two USB ports to help expand the Galaxy S8’s capabilities. Samsung’s dock even has a special embedded cooling fan to help keep the Galaxy S8 cool when you’re using it to display Android apps on a monitor, and a USB-C connection to power it.

It seems that Apple’s March 23, 2017 patent filing was timed to counter Samsung’s pending interpretation of the super-portable workstation. According to the filing (linked through the image above), the iPhone x MacBook combo serves quite the purpose:

An electronic accessory device, comprising: an operational component that provides an output to a user; a housing carrying the operational component, the housing having a recess; and a control interface coupled to the operational component and configured to receive a control signal from an electronic host device when the electronic host device is positioned within the recess and coupled to the control interface, wherein the electronic accessory device is inoperable without the electronic host device being coupled to the control interface.

In short, Apple may believe that they can convert iPhone users into MacBook owners by replacing the trackpad with an iPhone insert that powers the GUI and memory of the host while the surface acts as the trackpad. Imagine buying a  much cheaper MacBook Pro host for your iPhone. Given that few of us use desktop hardware, these days, Apple may have found another way to challenge Samsung’s innovation.

This is the #ProJo opinion of @Web Smith

See more of the issue here.

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