Apple Combo Power Adapter Could Charge Mac, iPad Simultaneously

A new patent application from Apple shows the company is at least considering the possibility of building a power adapter that can charge a portable Mac, iPhone and iPad at the same time.

The power adapter could adjust its voltage to properly charge a single or multiple devices, and would let users carry a single charger instead of individual ones for each Apple product they need to power up.

Apple multi-device power adapter patentOne possible configuration for Apple’s multi-device charger concept

Like Apple’s current power adapters, the patent shows a MagSafe connector for Mac laptops. It also shows options for attaching a Dock Connector cable for charging an iPhone, iPod or iPad.

Reducing the number of chargers needed when traveling sounds like a great idea, and it’s one that Twelve South recently jumped on, too. The company’s PlugBug adapter replaces the outlet prong piece on an MacBook charger with a module that includes the outlet prongs and a USB port capable of charging an iPad.

The PlugBug is an add-on where Apple’s design would be an all-in-one solution — and it hasn’t made it’s way out of Apple’s labs yet. What it shows, though, is that Apple is looking at ways to make our portable computers, tablets and phones easier to carry around town or across the country.

[Thanks to Patently Apple for the heads up.]