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

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

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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. Dulcimer macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
  3. caligomez macrumors regular


    Feb 8, 2011
    San Juan, PR
  4. sp3k0psv3t macrumors regular


    Jun 3, 2013
    Miami, FL
    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

    Mac21ND macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2007
    Merge the lightning port with an SD card slot for the iPhone/iPad and then we'll talk.



    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. euvix macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2011
    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. RoboCop001 macrumors 65816

    Oct 4, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
  8. ajcadoo, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  9. peteullo macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2009
    Scranton, PA
    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

    tonytiger13 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008
    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. dpfenninger macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2005
    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. pubwvj macrumors 68000


    Oct 1, 2004
    Mountains of Vermont
    What would be really useful is a single port that combined:

    USB (all flavors)

    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. geronimo789 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2010

    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. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    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. adildacoolset macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2011
    Lusaka, Zambia(If you know where it is)
    Why is this on the front page? There are dozens of cool inventions that never make it to consumers.
  16. Di4mondz macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2012
    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. DavidMarks macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2013
    Here comes the iMacPad!

    An iPad with a detachable MacBook base! iOS when it's out, OS X when it's in!
  18. tonytiger13 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008
    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. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    lol pls no.
  20. womble2k2 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    Agree to a point, CompactFlash would be of more benefit to me but I still do use SD.
  21. scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    Saint Charles, MO
    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. tonytiger13 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008
    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. HiVolt macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    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. DavidMarks macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2013
    If they did we'd probably still be using floppy disks, PS/2 ports, optical drives and wired internet!
  25. scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    Saint Charles, MO
    I think merging the lightning port with a micro SD card slot sounds better.

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