A new Apple patent document has hinted at some major potential alterations to the tech giant's MacBook laptops, including what appears to be an attachable vinyl turntable.
Filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on 25th July 2023, the design description – which you can see in full here – points to "modularized [sic] computing and input devices". This would allow users to build bespoke machines tailored to their needs from different hardware, including wide touchscreens, keyboards, and even a vinyl record player.
Apple has yet to comment on the published patent, which shows a multipurpose hinge system allowing for various iterations of the computer, depending on preference and needs. A detachable keyboard and at least two removable OLED/LED display screens form the core of a system that "can include a variety of designs and configurations to accommodate various uses". The technical drawings included in the patent document show the MacBook in different iterations — one form similar to most tablets, with a keyboard attached, another utilising multiple screens, one of which is used as a drawing pad.
However, Apple has a longstanding history of filing patents which never see the light of day as actual products. In recent months these have included AirPods that can scan brain activity, and mobile screens with touch sensor layers across all parts of the device. If the plans do come to fruition, they would represent the biggest change to the MacBook build since the line's inception in 2006, following the huge performance leap from switching to M1 processors three years ago, more latterly the M2.
Earlier this month, a first generation Apple iPod fetched a staggering $29,000 at auction.