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The iPhone's head start on computing's future


Imagine you're working on a complicated Photoshop document at home and need to go to work. Instead of uploading to Dropbox or saving to a thumb drive, you merely unplug your iPhone. You drive across town, get to your desk, dock your iPhone, and your desktop immediately springs back to life with your work still in progress.

That idea of personal computing, known as modular computing, is behind an article in Time this week studying Apple's impact on the future of personal computing. Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, Inc., theorizes that one day the iPhone will serve as a very small device that has a custom user interface, all your data, operating system and more. You would then go hook the iPhone up to any screen and have your personal computer right there - no laptop necessary. It would be able to drive a high-resolution monitor and software that requires more processing power than current-generation iPhones have.

Bajarin says Apple is already experimenting with this future. He points to AirPlay and the ability to use an iPhone in an audio docking system. He also thinks the 30-pin dock connector, which was recently dismissed by iMore's Rene Ritchie, was specifically built with this mythical connected future in mind. Bajarin says only two-thirds of the 30 pins are used for syncing, charging and audio/video output. Apple could use the rest to power other functions.

It's easy to see how Bajarin could make this leap of logic. Do you think this is the future, or is Apple going in another direction?

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