Apple patent application describes ceramic housing that could be used for low-cost iPhone

“Apple is again expressing interest in ceramic device enclosures, this time looking at a unibody type design fabricated from layers of the substrate in a technique somewhat akin to those used in laying up fiberglass, a material which one analyst believes will be used in a rumored low-cost iPhone,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported earlier this month that Apple would be releasing a low-cost iPhone with a shell made of fiberglass which, while a completely different material than ceramics, is fabricated using techniques outlined in the most recent patent application,” Campbell reports. “The new filing is straightforward, describing the materials and processes required to manufacture a strong, lightweight housing built from laminated ceramics.”

Campbell reports, “As mentioned in the filing’s abstract, the fabrication technique can be used for a ‘handheld computing device,’ which also extends to cellular phones like the iPhone.”

Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.


  1. Most iPhones I see in the wild have ugly-ass cases that destroy the aesthetic and thinness Apple was trying to achieve. What you need is an unbreakable phone and screen that you can drop from a reasonable height without damage. I think that’s really what’s behind all this stuff around different materials, not just cost savings.

  2. I’ve got an ugly-ass case around my iPhone, a Lunatik one, that also waterproofs it, as well as giving much greater drop protection. Not sure how damage resistant this design would be if dropped on rocks, or into the sea…

    1. I just went a head and had my iPhone hermetically sealed, vacuum packed and placed in a hyperbaric chamber then shot onto space…i mean…i just could risk getting fingerprints on my touch device.

  3. I have a Kyocera ceramic chef’s knife. It’s wonderfully sharp, but it is also quite breakable if used for anything other than slicing and dicing fruit, veggies, and boneless meats. In no way can it be used for anything the least utilitarian.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Apple can do something that makes ceramic materials much less brittle when tork is applied.

  4. I have never used a case and never will. Nor will I put an old blanket over my nice couch to ‘protect’ it. I like the designed beauty of the original thing I paid for.

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