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Apple Patents New Kind of iMac

Credit: Apple/USPTO

How much flatter can a Mac get? Let’s find out.

I remember a joke from an old, mid-2000s flash cartoon. A dude expressed confusion when his friend got a flat screen Mac, thinking someone had sliced off the back of his old computer. He also thought the wireless mouse was a plastic bar of soap. The reason I bring up this little non-sequitur is that each new iteration of desktop Mac seems to get flatter and flatter. I can only assume Apple is shooting for a future where desktop computers are just floating screens. On that subject, a patent from Apple has been uncovered showcasing what may be their flattest computer yet.

Based on this patent, which was filed in May of 2019, this theoretical iMac would feature a combined monitor, keyboard, and touchpad held within a single sheet of curved glass. Behind the curvy bit would be a box with the computer’s internals, which would also double as a doorstop of sorts to keep the screen propped up.

Based on additional diagrams of the device, the keyboard would be able to disconnect from the monitor, functioning as a normal wireless keyboard. Additionally, the keyboard could be folded into the screen, or a Macbook could be slotted into its usual space. This would be accomplished by sliding the Macbook in from the back of the device (presumably in lieu of the doorstop box), which would let you use the Macbook keyboard while duplicating its display onto the iMac.

As with any electronic patent, whether or not we’ll actually see a device of this nature is a complete toss-up. However, considering Apple’s efforts toward making flatter, more rounded computers, such a design wouldn’t be especially out of character for them.