What you need to know
- A newly-published Apple patent might just point to the future of Apple's device enclosures.
- That's because Apple has patented a way to finish Titanium.
- It involves random peaks and valleys that are no more than 0.3 micrometers in size.
A newly-published Apple patent could give us a clue as to how Apple might design its products of the future, as it reveals that Apple has patented a way to apply a matte finish to Titanium.
The patent is titled 'TEXTURED SURFACE FOR TITANIUM PARTS' and its abstract states:
As noted, the application is about enclosures for portable electronic devices, and patent images include drawings of the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook. According to the description, enclosures of portable electronic devices need "a high amount of strength and stiffness" to protect their operational components, however, it is also desirable for them to have "an attractive surface finish." For years now, Aluminum has been the go-to metal for Apple in its Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Apple's patent is designed to solve the problem of giving strong metals an attractive finish. The summary states:
A more specific description expands on this:
That's some heavy engineering language. However, the existence of this patent shows that Apple is at least thinking about the possibility of using a different material, Titanium in the design of its device enclosures. This patent also shows that Apple believes it has found a way to make Titanium an attractive metal that would fit its design ethos. Of course, this is just a patent, so it's only an idea just now. But who knows? Maybe Apple will one day move beyond Aluminum, which has for years been a staple of Apple design.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9