The idea of taking your phone, e.g. iPhone, and plugging it into a monitor or laptop shell to become a general computer is not new. There have been some Kickstarter projects as well as other do-it-yourself hacks to accomplish something like this already. Unfortunately, they are usually cool but a little amateuristic and not for the general public.
The time has come for Apple to change the game in computing. They should make the iPhone capable of being a dockable computer.
As an Apple fanboy, I would love the ability to take my iPhone, slide it into an empty laptop/monitor shell, which could be provided by any company, and have it become my MacBook with Mac OS X. The iPhone is already powerful enough for 90% of what most people do on laptops, it’s just a poor form factor as a computer. Many times a keyboard, laptop screen and touchpad are just better methods for work than an iPhone. As I already have the phone with me make it the laptop.
If Apple makes it open, unlike their normal process, and allows third-party companies to provide, perhaps sanctioned, monitors or laptops shells they will quickly get people to use this new platform. 700 million?+ iPhones could suddenly be ready-made laptops. Why would people get other machines and spend the money? I wouldn’t. There is no longer a $ decision for people who need the laptop/desktop. No longer is the choice an inexpensive but clunky UI Windows laptop OR too expensive but better UI Mac OSX. The iPhone handles both, and you already have the iPhone.
If done right Apple should not force iOS as the laptop interface. iOS is great for iPhones and iPads but is too limiting as a desktop/laptop interface. As Mac OS X very similar at an API level to iOS I can imagine the technical possibility esp. of a dual boot system depending on usage. Some of the phone capability still needs to be there while docked but I’m confident in that portion of the UI being resolved.
As Apple already sells laptops, you could argue “why they do this it would be throwing away money on people who would have purchased a laptop?” I believe the added value to the iPhone itself as a laptop ‘engine’ would get more people using Mac OS X vs Windows and would outweigh the loss of MacBook sales. I’ve met many people who wanted MacBooks but can’t afford them, Apple can, of course; still have the higher end more powerful Macbooks. There's always going to be the case for more powerful laptops depending on what you're doing with them. I think, however, that 95% of people would be delighted with the new solution.
If done right this would be a game-changer in the laptop/desktop world, and Microsoft Windows would be sweating bullets as would Android.