In early 2020, Apple filed a patent application for a new model of iMac with a design that differs radically from the company's past and current models.

According to the description, the computer, screen, keyboard and trackpad would be built into a single piece of curved glass. You can see what it might look like in the picture above.

"An electronic device may include a glass housing member that includes an upper portion defining a display area, a lower portion defining an input area, and a transition portion joining the upper portion and the lower portion and defining a continuous, curved surface between the upper portion and the lower portion," the patent's abstract reads.

"The electronic device may include a display coupled to the glass housing member and configured to provide a visual output at the display area. The electronic device may include an input device coupled to the glass housing member and configured to detect inputs at the input area."

This is a far cry from the current iMac design. We refer to it as an all-in-one because the computing components are incorporated within the flatscreen display, but it still requires separate input peripherals such as trackpad and keyboard. The patent would see these embedded in the all-in-one display/computer unit as well.

Maybe you'd still want a separate mouse, though.

iMac 24in (2021)

Now Patently Apple has spotted that the US Patent Office has granted Apple's application, which opens a path for the company to go ahead with development and, ultimately, a launch for the redesigned iMac.

However, before we all get too carried away, it should be pointed out that an approved patent application does not mean that the product will become a reality. It could just as easily be that Apple wants to put obstacles in the way of competitors who want to invest in a similar design, or misdirect them as to its own strategic intentions.

Such a stark redesign of the traditional iMac look is also likely to be some way from completion. You can catch up on the leaks and rumours pertaining to the next launch in our new iMac hub. If you don't want to wait that long, pick up a bargain with our guide to the best iMac deals.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation and additional reporting by David Price.