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Apple Patent May (Slightly) Hint at an iMac Touchscreen Similar to the Microsoft Surface Studio

Although Apple had long ago rejected the concept of a touchscreen iMac or MacBook, and for good reason, there was one product that made us curious, could there be a role for such a device: Microsoft Surface Studio (above).

Take away the Microsoft logo and Windows user interface, and you can easily imagine that it was designed by Apple. Today it is believed that a new patent application may hint at the possibility of a Mac version …

Microsoft Surface Studio

The Microsoft Surface Studio was announced back in 2016, and my colleague Greg Barbosa and I were blown away by the device. Here's what Greg said:

The Surface Studio announcement showed us something that Apple had dismissed as not worth the money. time: treating the desktop display as a touch screen. Every negative question I could think of was answered during the Microsoft event. Surface Studio uses wrist sensing on its display, allowing artists to bend the display on the Zero Gravity hinge at a more comfortable angle and lay down on it, just as they would if they were working at a drawing table.

Surface Pen allows any artist to draw directly on the display, just like previous Surface devices were able to do. The argument that Jobs demonstrated on stage, where the MacBook's display was placed at an odd angle as a limiting factor, was solved with the Surface Book, and a similar idea is now seen in the large-screen desktop solution.

And my opinion:

Yes, this is a niche product. Yes, it's very expensive. No, it's not for most people. But you can’t argue with two things.

First, it’s beauty. It's really well designed and is as Apple-like in style and build quality as any other device I've ever seen.

Secondly, for its target market – basically anyone who spends much more. drawing more than typing is a really great solution. For them, it's not a gimmick, but an effective tool.

If this thing had the Apple logo on the back and ran macOS, it would explode in the graphics world.

Apple patent application

Patly Apple noticed that Apple has updated a patent application first filed last November of the year. The website describes it as “a practical iMac design with a tilting touchscreen for artists and artists.” more.”

To be clear, Apple is not describing this as such. The application seeks to patent a rotating stand for a desktop computer, and Apple's argument is that it will make the iMac easier to transport.

Over time, sleeker, thinner devices with larger displays have emerged, but the desire for thinness coupled with larger displays has resulted in products that can be too heavy to handle for moving and inefficient for packaging and transport. Additionally, stands and supports for computing devices often take up weight and space inefficiently compared to the highly optimized rest of the computing device with which they are used. Accordingly, there is a constant need to improve stands, supports, and related components of computing devices.

But while it all seems rather commonplace, the design does look remarkably familiar.

Could Apple be hiding plans to release a touchscreen iMac modeled after the Surface Studio, as Apple Patents implies? Or is everything as uninteresting as the patent claims? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Images: Microsoft

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