4th gen iPhone to have ceramic backing, Apple A4-like SoC?

Following up on the crazy that was yesterday's iPhone G4 (iPhone HD/iPhone 4G) hardware leaks, Daring Fireball looked into the glass-like backing of the device, and brings up an old Apple patent for fancy, futuristic ceramics:

Multiple sources familiar with the next iPhone have confirmed to me that the back is made out of some sort of fancy glass — and looks pretty much exactly like what’s pictured at Engadget. [...] reader Antoine Hebert emailed with this 2006 Apple patent, for high-durability ceramic enclosures. Glass-like appearance and feel but far stronger and more scratch resistant. And: radio transparent.

We know the current, hi-tech plastic back on the iPhone 3GS (and iPhone 3G before it) is so durable it will not blend, so will glass-like ceramics be equally tough? Tough enough to survive a fall?

Meanwhile, 9to5Mac points us to a Korea Times where Samsung seems to confirm Apple will be using their own system-on-a-chip (SoC) for the 4th generation iPhone, like it does with the Apple A4 for the iPad.

If that chip is as blazing fast as we hope it will be, maybe ceramics is a better choice for the backing anyway. What do you think?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.