Apple Researching a Matte Black Finish for MacBooks

Apple has filed a patent application for an intense light-absorbant matte black finish for a range of products, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook (via Patently Apple).

matte black macbook pro colorwareImage via ColorWare

The patent application, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is titled "Anodized Part Having a Matte Black Appearance," and outlines the characteristics of the finish and possible manufacturing processes to achieve it. The patent notes that the finish can be used on a range of metals and metal alloys, including aluminum, titanium, and steel.

The finish comprises an anodized layer that includes "randomly distributed light-absorbing features that are capable of absorbing visible light." The layer contains pores, "where color particles are infused within the pores." The resulting surface is a deep, intense matte black.

A genuine black color is extremely difficult to achieve, with most commercial "black" products actually being dark gray or blue. The patent explains that "merely depositing dye particles within pores of an anodized layer is insufficient to impart a true black color."

One of the issues involved is that, generally, the truer the black, the higher the gloss of the finish, which in turn reflects a large amount of visible light. In etching the surface of an anodized layer with pores, Apple is able to absorb "generally all visible light" to deliver a truer black finish without increasing glossiness.

Apple's solution appears to be tantamount to existing true-black solutions such as "Vantablack," which is one of the darkest substances known, absorbing up to 99.965 percent of light.

Although there are other options such as skins, Apple has never offered a matte black MacBook. The company has experimented with a number of matte black finishes on other products, however, such as the ‌iPhone‌ 7.

Patent applications cannot be taken as proof of what Apple is intending to bring to market and many patented ideas never reach the shelves. Nonetheless, they provide an interesting insight into what Apple is researching and developing behind the scenes.

Top Rated Comments

FocusAndEarnIt Avatar
7 months ago
Long live this wonderful Black MacBook that I had... running Mac OS X Tiger 10.4!



Attachment Image
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gaximus Avatar
7 months ago
That's gorgeous.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JediStarWars Avatar
7 months ago
Black Laptops Matter
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Knowledge Navigator Avatar
7 months ago
I want my Mac as black as TC's autumn collection



Attachment Image
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArPe Avatar
7 months ago
Vanta Black would be a massive distraction. Instead of getting work done you’d be constantly mind ****ed.

And lose your laptop in the dark.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vmac556 Avatar
7 months ago
I consider the original, black MacBook to be matte black
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...
m1 v intel thumb

Intel Processor Market Share May Fall to New Low Next Year Due to Apple Silicon

Friday June 18, 2021 2:06 am PDT by
Intel may see its market share fall to a new low next year, in large part thanks to Apple's decision to move away from using Intel processors in its Mac computers and instead use Apple silicon. Apple announced last year that it would embark on a two-year-long journey to transition all of its Mac computers, both desktops, and laptops, to use its own in-house processors. Apple is expected to...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...