Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Why Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Seemingly Minor Move Has PC Makers Terrified

It’s quite likely that you missed an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) storyline at the end of June, or that you saw it and brushed it aside like I did, believing it to be inconsequential.

Last month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application that the Mac maker has filed for, detailing a multi-function input port that could merge a USB port and SD card slot into one. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) originally applied for the patent in December 2011, and it has yet to be awarded. One of the primary benefits of merging the two ports would be to facilitate even thinner designs.

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Consumer preferences are quickly shifting to the thin-and-light laptop segment, an area that NPD says that the MacBook Air dominates with 56% market share. This patent application might not seem like a game-changer, but DIGITIMES believes that rival Ultrabook makers competing in the market for thin and light laptops are worried that the move would give Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) another leg up. With as thin as laptops have become, every millimeter counts; a combined input port could save 12 to 13 millimeters in external designs.

The possible move is similar to another seemingly minor detail that’s arguably underappreciated: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s MagSafe power adaptors. The magnetic power cord was unveiled in 2006 as an added convenience, reducing the risk that people would trip on cords and laptops would crash into floors. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also patented the connector, which is why rivals still can’t use it. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface uses a magnetic power cord, with the big difference being that Microsoft’s version carries data along with power. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has applied for a patent of its own.

Alone, these are all minor details that most PC vendors have overlooked. Combined, they offer conveniences that give Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) an advantage. Rivals already have to watch out for Apple’s MacBook Air design patent, which covers the overall wedge look. Even though Apple isn’t immune to the PC market’s broad weakness right now, it’s still got some tricks up its sleeves.

The article Why Apple’s Seemingly Minor Move Has PC Makers Terrified originally appeared on

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and owns shares of Apple and Microsoft.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Biotech Stock Alert - 20% Guaranteed Return in One Year

Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Piling Into

One of 2015's best hedge funds and two insiders snapped up shares of this medical device stock recently. We believe its transformative and disruptive device will storm the $3+ billion market and help it achieve 500%-1000% gains in 3 years.

Get your FREE REPORT and the details of our 20% return guarantee today.

Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.
Loading Comments...

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 102% in 3 years!! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!