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16 Jun, 2023
1 min time to read

A newly awarded patent has revealed that Apple is exploring the possibility of creating an iPhone that eliminates the need for a protective case.

The patent describes an "abrasion-resistant" surface that is less prone to scratches, scuffs, and scrapes, making a case unnecessary.

The patent showcases images of a grid of durable microbeads, smaller than the size of a pencil tip, extending above the back panel of an iPhone to protect the device's casing. Apple suggests that these beads could be composed of various materials such as metals, glasses, ceramics, or other suitable materials.

By embedding the beads in the plastic material, similar to the design of past iPhone models like the iPhone 5S and 5C, the patent aims to create a back panel that is resistant to scratching. The beads may extend above the surface of the plastic material, offering enhanced protection while maintaining the sleek appearance of the iPhone.

Over the years, Apple has been experimenting with different materials and techniques to improve the durability of its devices. While the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus featured an IP68 waterproof ceramic shield, some reviewers found that these materials did not perform as well as previous models in drop tests.

The patent, titled "spatial composites," also suggests the use of faceted surfaces on the exposed microbeads, creating a shimmering effect that adds an aesthetic appeal to the device. It hints that this technology could potentially be applied to other Apple devices, such as iPads and MacBooks, to enhance their durability as well.

While the patent does not describe the tactile experience of the texture, it signifies Apple's ongoing commitment to innovation and design. However, it remains to be seen if and when this technology will be implemented in future iPhone models.