All-glass iMac of the future spotted again as Apple updates its patent

The 2023 M3 iMac on a wooden desk, showing the features of macOS Sonoma
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

Have you been following the last few iMac refreshes and feel they are missing that wow factor Apple is known for? A recent patent suggests our favorite weird iMac redesign is still being researched internally — even if we might not ever see it come to market. 

Way back at the start of 2020, an Apple patent was found, showing off an all-glass iMac with a curved screen, that extends into the keyboard. Said keyboard could have physical buttons or virtual ones like those found on an iPhone keyboard. As pointed out by Patently Apple, this patent has been updated this week by Apple. 

In its report, Patently Apple also pointed out that the glass iMac could display a screen on the back to a different user, suggesting two users could watch the same video from different sides of the machine. As well as this, it could potentially be used in presentations to show off the screen or could also two users to browse at once. 

What does it mean when Apple updates a patent? 

The patent being refreshed doesn’t inherently mean anything, as it could be something as simple as Apple wanting to keep its ideas so others don’t use them. However, for us, it’s not only a refresher of one of the coolest Mac patents but a sign it could still be on the table in the future. 

Updating a patent could help keep it in the mind of engineers and, as pointed out by Patently Apple above, this patent refresh came with 20 new patent claims. The patent update shows renewed investment in the patent, even if it might not ever make it to production. Given Apple released the M3 iMac a few months ago and the M3 MacBook Air just this week, with a few iterations over their respective previous models, it seems unlikely we will get the glass iMac in the near future. One can certainly hope though. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.