The recent discovery of Apple’s latest patent caused the usual and predictable reaction. The fact that Apple patents everything hasn’t seemed to quite sink in yet, but there is something in the above idea.
If we ignore how the phone would actually fit in the gap to make a trackpad and then somehow connect to the lightning jack, the idea of a phone that can be used with a full-sized keyboard and screen has persisted for a decade and to this date is simply not worth the effort.
Samsung is thinking along these lines currently with the Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Dex. The simple dock has 2 USB ports, an HDMI port and (strangely) an ethernet port meaning you can connect a keyboard, mouse and monitor to make a PC setup.
However, and it is a however that has plagued this idea to date. No-one wants iOS on a computer, no-one wants Android on a computer. OK, some people do, but it is offering nothing more than a tablet. And if you are running a mobile OS, why would you run it on a PC form factor?
In time though things will change and phones could easily catch up with static computers in terms of power, RAM, flexibility and operating systems. We could easily see phones carrying operating systems that switch between mobile and desktop when they are docked and with all of the power and flexibility we see in Windows PCs and Macs today.
The notion that we do not need full-sized keyboards and screens anymore are fanciful. We are human and we are comfortable with bigger devices to do real work on. It makes sense to carry that on, but it also makes sense that your phone will be your only computer one day as well.