Apple wins patent to build all-glass iPhones, iPads, TVs
Apple has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a method to build electronic device casings entirely of glass.
The all-glass electronic device casings can be used to either hold the internal components of iPhones, iPads or TV.
The Apple US patent No. 8,773,848 for "Fused glass device housings".
Apple notes in the application that in order to ensure the device stays strong as well as light, the company would use a construction method wherein glass pieces would be joined by a fusing process, instead of opting for a glass-on-glass building technology.
The edges of planar and peripheral glasses would be fused to form a thick material, which could then be chiseled into a desired shape.
Apple may draw some design elements from its "Bondi Blue" iMac of 1998 and apply it to give a translucent feel to its mobile devices such iPhones, iPads and iPods.
The Cupertino tech firm has several glass-related patents such as on staircases, retail outlets. The latest patent has become a possibility due to its sapphire crystal glass plant in Arizona.
The pieces would be fused together in order to avoid using a single chunk of material. Internal structures such as reinforcement elements and fused-on ribs could also be made of glass and then positioned at places where structural integrity may tend to be fragile.
The patent application also talks on aspects such as polishing, techniques to strengthen glass and alternative components which include extruded hollow glass rods with fused end caps.
With the latest plan, Apple seems to be shifting away from the premium 'glass sandwich' design introduced with the iPhone 4.
The inventors of this technology has been cited as Peter Russell-Clarke, Micheal Pilliod and Apple's design lead Sir Jony Ive.
The patent was first filed in 2013.