Apple Proposes New Multifunction Input Ports, Could Merge SD Card Slot and USB Port

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple has applied for a patent on a computer port that combines two connectors such as a USB port and a SD card reader according to an application recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and noticed by AppleInsider.

    The invention, which Apple calls a 'combined input port', adds contact surfaces for multiple different ports. One such example used in the application adds a SD card to the bottom of a standard USB port, with additional cuts to fit the SD card. The combined port could save room on smaller notebooks, and is one potential way for Apple to fit an SD card reader in the 11" MacBook Air.

    [​IMG]
    The patent was originally applied for in December 2011 and is only now getting published. It has not yet been awarded, however.

    Apple routinely applies for patents on inventions that never make it to a final product, but this does seem to have a lot of potential for production. For example, Apple could use it such a combined input port to save space on notebooks, adding an additional USB port to the location where the SD card slot currently is.

    The company recently released updated MacBook Air models, though they did not receive a substantial redesign. Apple is expected to release updated MacBook Pro with Retina display models in the near future, and such a combined port could make sense on that device, though there are no guarantees that Apple would ever use it.

    Article Link: Apple Proposes New Multifunction Input Ports, Could Merge SD Card Slot and USB Port
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

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  3. macrumors regular

    caligomez

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    sp3k0psv3t

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    #4
    Cant wait............

    Now if we can only use BOTH at the "same time" it would be amazing!

    Think about the possibilities:

    HDMI w/ SD Card AND

    USB3 w/ SD Card AND

    TB w/ SD Card

    One can dream right lol
     
  5. Mac21ND, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Mac21ND

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    Merge the lightning port with an SD card slot for the iPhone/iPad and then we'll talk.

    ***

    Edit:

    I have no idea if this is even technically possible. It just seems like it would along the same lines as mentioned in the patent. And yes, I know they make a dongle to handle such things :)
     
  6. macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Honestly, I don't see much point in this unless you could use them at the same time (which seems improbable). There's not really a problem with dedicated ports, why try to fix it?
     
  7. macrumors 65816

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  8. ajcadoo, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013

    macrumors regular

    ajcadoo

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  9. macrumors regular

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    You really need an answer for this?? Why does Apple to half the things they do? To make everything thinner!!!! :apple:
     
  10. tonytiger13, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013

    macrumors regular

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    I hate to say it, but there is a high chance that they'd offer the same amount of USB ports that current models have and take away the SD slot. So now I got one less USB port due to it being filled up when reading SD cards. I hope otherwise, but because of SD card's slim form factor, it fits on the Air on the slope where a USB port likely couldn't. But then again, I'm not Apple and they can "innovate, my ass". (No, my ass does not need innovating :eek:)...

    I do like this innovation however, especially if they use it on models or designs that wouldn't normally be able to fit an SD card reader. And on Pro models, they could include an extra USB where the SD card reader is. Let's hope Apple giveth and not taketh away.
     
  11. macrumors member

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    Call me crazy, but do that many people still really use SD cards? For a company that has a history of removing 'legacy technology' from products (floppy drives, optical drives, Firewire, ethernet), it doesn't seem like them to create a new connector that incorporates SD.

    I'm sure all the photography folks on here will disagree with me, but I'm just curious to see how many average users use them.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    pubwvj

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    #12
    What would be really useful is a single port that combined:

    USB (all flavors)
    SDCard
    iPod30PinConnector
    Thunderbolt

    This would provide excellent backward compatibility. It's a shame each time they upgrade the connector to have to throw away your external devices (e.g., BMW car).

    Apple could do a LOT better at legacy support.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

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    #13
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESATAp

    Yeah, it really did not exist before at all, this is really high tech, unimaginably brilliant.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Apple, they have a formidable design team and vision, but they aren't the messiah of computing either.

    Also, big problem with combining ports is that you can only use one of them at a time, or you'd have to go buy an adapter to use them at the same time. Now there's something Apple surely won't do right ? Creating more adapters at 29 bucks for people to buy :)
     
  14. macrumors 68020

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    #14
    While this sounds good, reality is its another new item that could end up being a little used proprietary highly costly Apple only connector.

    Apples target market customers that shop at Walmart don't care about such things.

    Conversely Apple might have something of value for future profit.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Why is this on the front page? There are dozens of cool inventions that never make it to consumers.
     
  16. macrumors regular

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    #16
    I like what I'm seeing here.
    Even though it's already been invented, they've patented it and you know it means they're going to use it in the future. :rolleyes:

    ^ And this is a MUST.
    I would get the next iPhone instantly.
     
  17. macrumors member

    DavidMarks

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    #17
    Here comes the iMacPad!

    An iPad with a detachable MacBook base! iOS when it's out, OS X when it's in!
     
  18. macrumors regular

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    I love that port on the Windows PC's I've seen them on. However, they aren't marketed correctly. Every average user I show it to and tell them what it can do feel it looks to strange to use (weird, I know). I tell them, at least, they have 1 more USB port, and that makes them happy. eSata for the average user? Yea right. If you're using eSata you're not an average user, imo. I try to explain that it can charge even with the laptop closed and sleeping, but again, many just didn't know they *couldn't* do that to begin with. :confused:
     
  19. macrumors 68020

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    #19
    lol pls no.
     
  20. macrumors regular

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    #20
    Agree to a point, CompactFlash would be of more benefit to me but I still do use SD.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    As much as I like this idea, wouldn't this add more thickness to the port? It wouldn't work if Apple continues to roll out thinner Macs.
     
  22. macrumors regular

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    #22
    I do. But as you said, it's only because I've taken up photography as a hobby recently. I can't remember the last time I used one before that. Except WAY back when I was doing stuff with a digital frame and maybe my Nintendo Wii.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    HiVolt

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    #23
    I was going to post the exact same thing, only scrolled down to see that you already pointed it out.

    I've seen many notebooks with such a port.
     
  24. macrumors member

    DavidMarks

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    #24
    If they did we'd probably still be using floppy disks, PS/2 ports, optical drives and wired internet!
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I think merging the lightning port with a micro SD card slot sounds better.
     

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