An Apple patent published today shows how Apple could combine an SD card slot and a USB port.
The “Combined Input Port” patent shows an invention that varies the depth and position of the two respective ports, allowing them to be combined into one device. According to the patent description:
The input port includes an outer wall defining a receiving aperture, a substrate positioned within the receiving aperture. A first set of contacts is positioned on the substrate at a first depth into the receiving aperture and a second set of contacts is positioned on a first surface of the outer wall at a second depth into the receiving aperture. The first set of contacts is configured to communicate with a first connector and the second set of contacts is configured to communicate with a second connector.
As notebooks get thinner and thinner, a combined port technology such as this would prove a phenomenal use of space. Either, it would mean that the number of ports on a Macbook could be doubled, or the space taken up by those ports could be halved. If this ever comes to fruition in a product, then it should prove to be a fantastic addition to a Macbook.