For the most part, laptop design has stayed the same pretty much since the idea was first invented. Apple may be looking to try something different, according to a patent the company was granted. If it does work on it, then it will be adding its name to a short list of exceptions.
Specifically, the patent describes a “personal computing device” which has a single piece seamless body with a bendable portion. It also mentions that one portion carries a display, and the second an input device, just like a laptop. But since the company says personal computing device, Apple is extending the application of the patent to smartphone covers and tablet computer devices as well, in addition to the obvious MacBook implementation.
If it sounds familiar so far, it’s probably because the Microsoft Surface Book line already does something similar. But Apple’s implementation makes it stand out in its own way. For its foldable hinge, the company wants it to consist of a “stack of layers that can transition from an uncompressed state to a compressed state”. That said, the patent doesn’t seem to explain why this would be better than a traditional hinge.
It remains to be seen if Apple will actually put on shelves what is depicted here. As with all things patents, it’s probably best to not assume that the company will be making something to market out of it just yet.