Apple Researching All-Glass iPhone and Apple Watch Designs

Apple has furthered its research on devices with all-glass enclosures, a newly granted patent filing shows.

apple glass enclosures patent main
The patent, first spotted by Patently Apple, is titled "Electronic device with glass enclosure" and was granted to Apple by the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier today. The research focuses on electronic devices with six-sided glass enclosures and glass casings that extend all of the way around a device.

apple glass enclosures patent second
For devices such as the iPhone, Apple's patent covers how touchscreen displays are enclosed "within the interior volume and positioned adjacent at least a portion of each of the six sides of the six-sided glass enclosure." These displays are flexible to accommodate the internal curves of the enclosure and can provide additional touch input regions.

apple glass enclosures patent manufacturing
The patent explains how glass may be curved, tapered, and overlapped to create an all-glass enclosure, featuring accommodations for components such as speakers and microphones. Apple also suggests that some of the glass surfaces may feature different textures to differentiate them from nearby input regions.

Apple outlined various implementations for allowing access to the device's internals, presumably for manufacturing and repairs, such as by removing a window or what Apple calls a "cap" section. This would allow internal components to be slid out in a way that is similar to the latest Apple TV's Siri Remote.

apple glass enclosures patent internal access
The filing also shows how the device's software could integrate with an all-glass design to dynamically adapt based on how the user holds and orients the device, such as additional information being shown on the outer edges and UI elements that move around to the surface being interacted with.

apple glass enclosures patent dyanmic software
Beyond the ‌iPhone‌, which appears to be the main focus of the patent, the filing also demonstrates how other devices, such as the Apple Watch, a cylindrical Mac Pro, and a ‌Mac Pro‌ tower, could feature all-glass enclosures and utilise their internal surfaces.

apple glass enclosures patent other devices
Devices with all-glass enclosures have long been idealized by some, including former Apple designer Sir Jony Ive, as the natural conclusion of Apple design. Apple's patent filings do not demonstrate the company's immediate plans, but they do show some of the company's specific areas of research and development.

The Apple Watch Series 7 features an all-new, thicker front crystal. Combined with larger display sizes, the refractive curved edge of the Apple Watch's glass gives the impression of the display almost meeting the casing, in what may be a small iteration toward reaching the sort of design envisioned in this filing.

Tag: Patent

Top Rated Comments

madmin Avatar
8 months ago
Can't innovate my glass
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fusionskies Avatar
8 months ago
All the ergonomics of a bar of soap ?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
8 months ago
Apple: starts a self-service repair program.
Also Apple: considers making products that are seamless bars of glass.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SamRyouji Avatar
8 months ago
All glass? Even with Gorilla Glass Victus, that will still be as fragile as my heart...
???
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dantracht Avatar
8 months ago
As if I wasn’t afraid enough of breaking mine…..
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
audiophilosophy Avatar
8 months ago
I would trade the glass back with contact charging for an aluminum back without contact charging any day. The iPhone 5 series was so wonderfully light because of the choice of aluminum instead of glass. I wonder how much lighter my 13 mini could be if it didn’t have a glass back, magnets in it for MagSafe, and the copper inductive charging coil (and 5g antenna too since I don’t use 5g due to battery drain).
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iphone 5g mmwave

Ericsson Sues Apple Again Over 5G Patent Licensing Infringements

Tuesday January 18, 2022 5:11 am PST by
Telecom giant Ericsson has filed another set of patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in a long-running dispute between the two companies over royalty payments for the use of 5G wireless patents in iPhones. In 2021, both companies sued each other in the US after negotiations failed over the renewal of a seven-year licensing contract for telecom patents covering 2G, 3G, and 4G...
apple logo us flag smooth

Apple Ranks Seventh With Over 2,500 U.S. Patents Granted in 2021

Monday February 14, 2022 8:43 am PST by
Apple was granted 2,541 patents in the United States last year, surpassed by only six other companies, IFI Claims reports. In its rankings of the top 50 U.S. patent assignees in 2021 (via Patently Apple), IFI Claims Patent Services shows that Apple was granted 250 fewer patents in 2021 compared to the previous year, a nine percent decrease. Even so, Apple moved one place up the rankings in...
vissles lp85 keyboard6

Apple Imagines Mac-Inside-a-Keyboard Device Evocative of 80s Home Computers

Friday February 25, 2022 4:59 am PST by
Apple is exploring the possibility of integrating a fully functioning Mac within a keyboard, reminiscent of home computers of the 80s, such as the Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Image credit: Vissles The concept was revealed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a new Apple patent application called "Computer in an input device," which describes a thicker Magic Keyboard-style...
samsung s22 drop test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Devices Prove More Breakable Than iPhone 13 in Drop Test

Monday February 28, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Samsung's Galaxy S22 devices appear to be more prone to damage when dropped than Apple's iPhone 13 models, according to drop tests conducted by Allstate Protection Plans. With major new smartphone releases, Allstate does the same set of drop tests to determine the degree of front, back, and side damage when a device hits the ground, and the testing indicates the iPhone's design is more durable. ...
vanarama apple car concept

British Car Leasing Company Creates 'Apple Car' 3D Render Based on Patents

Friday December 10, 2021 4:29 am PST by
British vehicle leasing company Vanarama has taken a stab at imagining what the first Apple Car could look like, taking inspiration from iPhones, MacBooks, and other Apple products, and combining them with real Apple patents to come up with a 3D concept render that can be explored inside and out. Given that Apple remains tight-lipped about its electric self-driving car plans, the concept is ...
apple watch series 6 product red back

Apple Develops Innovative Hydration Sensor for the Apple Watch

Tuesday August 17, 2021 8:45 am PDT by
Apple has developed a first-of-its-kind hydration sensor designed for the Apple Watch, a company patent filing has revealed. The patent, first spotted by Patently Apple, is titled "Hydration measurement with a watch" and was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "Traditional techniques for tracking hydration are generally invasive, expensive, or unreliable," according to Apple. ...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
studio display mount options

Studio Display Add-On Height-Adjustable Stand Costs an Extra $400, Nano-Texture Glass is $300

Tuesday March 8, 2022 12:37 pm PST by
Apple today introduced the Studio Display, a lower-cost display option that's meant to go along with the Mac Studio. The Studio Display is priced starting at $1,599, making it much more affordable than the Pro Display XDR, but not at the attractive $999 price point of the long-discontinued Thunderbolt Display. Though the base Studio Display is $1,599 for the display itself and an included...

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...