As spotted by Apple Insider, Apple’s latest patent application to be unearthed describes a dock wit a “rotationally symmetric” port that allows you to sync and charge your iPhone or iPad in any orientation that you may choose.
The most interesting part about this application is that it isn’t a plug-in device: in other words, an iPhone or iPad could sync and charge just by resting against the surface of the dock.
Much as I would kill to see the end of the USB iPod Dock Connector Cable for inductive syncing and charging technology, It’s strange to see Apple trying to patent this: the Palm Pre‘s Touchstone Charger has done this same thing for two years, and HP presumably now owns the patent on it. If I had to guess, the difference here is that Apple’s patent covers both syncing and charging, while the Palm Touchstone can only do the latter.
How will Apple’s device sync information wirelessly, though? My guess is not through induction, but rather through WiFi… a capability of future iDevices confirmed just last month by Steve Jobs himself.