A new patent suggests a matte black MacBook could be a thing eventually

MacBook Pro with a cup of coffee and iPhone
MacBook Pro with a cup of coffee and iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has a new patent that could bring a matte black MacBook to market.

Apple could be set to launch a matte black MacBook at some point in the future. That's if you put much faith in the appearance of a new patent relating to exactly that.

Spotted by Patently Apple, the patent goes into the reasons that we don't yet have a black MacBook – essentially, it's difficult to do properly.

Enclosures for portable electronic devices can include an anodized layer that can be dyed in different colors in order to enhance their cosmetic appeal to consumers. However, certain colors are far more difficult to achieve than others.

Black is one of those colors, with dark gray generally as dark as is usually possible. But Apple hopes to have a solution, according to the patent filing.

The etched anodized surface of the enclosures having light-trapping features (also referred to as light-absorbing features) is capable of absorbing generally almost all visible light incident thereupon. Additionally, whatever visible light not absorbed by the light-trapping features is diffusely reflected by the light-trapping features. As a result, the etched anodized part is characterized as having a matte, low gloss finish. The matte, low gloss finish combined with black color particles infused within pores are capable of hiding surface geometries of the external surface.

However, it's always important to remember that Apple patents just about everything its engineers come up with. Few of them turn into products, unfortunately.

All that being said, I'd be all over a matte black MacBook Pro. I'm sure many others would, too!

You can read all about the new patent and how it might be used over on Patently Apple now.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.