“The next iPhone will be made of Apple’s ‘stunning ceramic,’ a light, super-smooth, scratch-resistant compound that’s already being used in the new Apple Watch Edition,” Joon Ian Wong writes for Quartz. “That’s the theory, anyway, but one that’s strongly argued by self-styled ‘alchemist and metaphysician’ Brian Roemmele on Quora.”
“Roemmele points to three Apple filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office to back up his prediction. Collectively, they show that Apple has developed techniques to make ceramic components that contain electronics,” Wong writes. “The newest filing, published Sept. 8, is the most interesting. It’s a patent application that describes how Apple could ‘co-mold’ a housing for an electronic device from polymer — which could be a plastic or rubber — and ceramic. The ceramic part is the external housing, while the polymer, which is easier to mold into intricate shapes, comes into contact with the electronics. The filing includes drawings of a co-molded housing for a watch, smartphone, and tablet.”
“The Apple Watch Edition, the high-end version of the Apple Watch, contains clues to what a future ceramic iPhone could look and feel like, Roemmele points out. Apple says the ceramic used in its watch contains zirconia and alumina (oxides of zirconium and aluminum) . The use of zirconia makes the ceramic difficult to break, scratch-proof, and cool to the touch even when its electronics are pumping out heat, according to Jon Binner, professor of ceramic science and engineering at the University of Birmingham,” Wong writes. “Crucially, it will also be ‘radio transparent,’ meaning that radio frequencies can penetrate it easily, so the device should have less trouble getting a signal. These properties would help an iPhone or iPad, too.”
More info and links in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Makes a lot of sense, especially if you regard the $1249-$1299 Apple Watch Edition, “now in stunning ceramic,” as Apple’s proof of concept.
Brian Roemmele’s article on Quora is here.