On February 3, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's iPad.
A future iPad, according to Apple, may include a built-in stand that could pivot to provide both landscape and portrait support while allowing the unit to be further angled just right for use with the iPad's virtual keyboard. The concept of the new advanced stand supports another recent Apple patent concerning added connectors for a future iPad. Apple's invention could technically eliminate the need for their current docking station.
In the noted Patent Figures above we see Apple's proposed built-in stand for the iPad in portrait and landscape modes. Furthermore, the landscape mode could provide a steeper incline to support a virtual keyboard mode that would be comfortable for the user to use in extended periods of time. An Incline similar to the one proposed for a future iMac-Touch.
The device stand may be built-in or sold separately. The patent states that "support unit 30 may be sold separately." Apple states that the stand could use a screw-in mechanism or other means such as magnets, adhesives, suction cups, locking means, latching means, or other suitable means.