Apple has patented a design for an iPhone package that can transform into a simple charging dock.

Apple's product packaging is famously beautiful, but it could soon be as useful as it is attractive. If a patent published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office comes to fruition, the packaging on the next iPhone you buy could turn into a handy dock.

Originally filed in May last year, the patent includes an iPhone/iPod touch box with a detachable lid, the two parts of which slot together to create what seems to be a simple charging dock.

Patently Apple reports: "The Lid 102 is sized to accommodate an item such as an iPhone smart phone, or iPod Touch. In particular, the dimensions of packaging could alternatively be sized to accommodate portable entertainment devices such as an MP3 player or smart phone, computer tablets such as the iPad or any other suitable device one wishes to both package and display."

Apple iPhone packaging