Apple’s new Patent and what it could mean for future smartphones

As you all know, we have been anxiously awaiting the new iOS 8 and iPhone 6 drop from Apple. But while we are waiting Apple has filed for a very interesting patent that could change the way we see smartphones in the future.

Apple has patented a method for building devices with all-glass outer casings (via AppleInsider), by fusing pieces together for a completely seamless final look. The all-glass device casings could be used to hold the internals of an iOS device or to house a TV or monitor, too.

The all-glass structures are designed for maximum durability but also weight savings, with designs that fuse pieces together to avoid having to use a single heavy block of material, and internal structures like fused-on ribs and reinforcement points, also made of glass, placed at key points where structural integrity could be weaker.

Unlike the iPhone 4, which featured front and back glass panels, the patent would allow Apple to build completely glass-encased gadgets, which would allow for a completely different aesthetic versus other gadget-maker’s designs. An all-glass Retina Cinema Display would certainly stand out from the crowd in terms of monitors, and an all-glass iPhone would definitely draw even more headlines than usual.

Of course, glass is still subject to impact damage and other potential pitfalls. And as with many of its other patents, Apple may simply have experimented with the tech but then moved on to something else (like sapphire glass construction, for instance), but the patent does cite Apple SVP Jony Ive as one of its main inventors. Flat glass slabs are a staple of sci-fi TV and movies, after all, so maybe Apple wants to help usher that future into production.

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  1. Alex Blaha
    July 13, 2014

    This is a brilliant idea! I mean, if you drop your phone, it’ll smash into a million pieces and you’ll have to buy a new one, which equals more profit for Apple!

    • Alexander Wörndle
      July 13, 2014

      Depends on the type of glass and geometry. Had a small (1.5.fl.oz.) round-bottomed flask jump right back into my hand from a stone floor some years ago.

  2. Jeffrey Ruppert
    July 14, 2014

    The glass is a type that is all but unbreakable

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