iPhone Docking Station Patent Application Shows Multi-Orientation Design, Possible Table PC Compatibility
When there were only iPods, docking and synchronizing them with with your Mac or PC was a pretty straightforward proposition. You just put your iPod into a docking cradle and it works. But what about iPhone? It can work both in horizontal and vertical position. Which way should you dock it? Any way, says Apple.
When developing an iPhone, Apple has also thought of the newish docking station that will be needed to operate it comfortably when charging and synchronizing iPhone with your computer.
Two designs for Apple iPhone docking stations have just surfaced in an Apple patent application, showing cradles that allow the iPhone to be docked and viewed in either horizontal or vertical orientation. The patent application describes "Methods and apparatuses for docking a portable electronic device that has a planar like configuration and that operates in multiple orientations."
An intriguing aspect of the illustrations is the possibility that one of the cradle designs is not only intended for the iPhone, but also might encompass a tablet PC. The second illustration shows a slightly different method, one that would also be appropriate for a tablet.
The patent application even mentions the term "tablet PC."
"The portable electronic device may correspond to a tablet, and the base may serve as a location for accessing the Internet or connecting to peripheral devices such as printers, fax machines, scanners, and the like.... In cases such as these the portable electronic device may correspond to a monitor, tablet PC..."
It works in a similar way to rotating LCD monitors, letting you dock and view the iPhone in whichever direction you prefer.