Back in May of 2006, Apple filed a patent for the "compactable memory disc adapter," an adapter than can retrofit 8cm optical media to play in 12cm drives. The adapter can be folded during shipping, allowing less packaging to be used in shipping Apple software. And those 8cm discs? They would play great in Samsung's 8cm drives.
But while the idea may seem clever at first, can't we do better?
You may be wondering at this point, if we want to save the environment, why not just create a system that allows users easier OS downloads or integrated SD memory card support? You may also be wondering whether or not this smaller optical media is possibly in the works for smaller Apple hardware (an ultraportable, perhaps?)...which would probably lead you to wonder about the whole downloads/SD memory thing again. We're just generally confused about the entire idea, and hope it's one of those defensive maneuver patents—protection of ideas that will never come to light.