Apple patent app reveals radical iMac made of single sheet of glass

iMac made of single sheet of glass
Apple patent application illustration (source: USPTO)

A newly-published Apple patent application reveals that the company is considering a radical redesign of the company’s iconic all-in-one desktop so it would effectively consist of a single sheet of curved glass with an embedded display.

Apple last updated the iMac in March 2019 with up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors for the first time and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance, but left the external design unchanged, which isn’t bad thing as the iMac’s sleek aluminum and glass enclosure, 5 millimeter-thin profile and beautiful matching keyboard and mouse deliver a clean and uncluttered desktop experience that allows users to focus more on their content. But, now, after many years of similar iMac designs, perhaps Apple is ready to try something very new.

Malcolm Owen for AppleInsider:

Apple's current 21.5-inch 4K and 27-inch 5K  iMac models
Apple’s current 21.5-inch 4K and 27-inch 5K iMac models
Apple is exploring the boundaries of the iMac by proposing one that is effectively formed from a single sheet of glass.

In its basic form, the Mac would consist of the sheet with a curved lower portion on one edge, which resides on the desk is used to hold input devices, and a larger flat area which would include the embedded display. The glass would form the main support structure for holding the display in place, affixed to the backside of the glass, and could feasibly include a connection for an iSight camera in its usual place above the screen…

There is also the suggestion the glass lip could actually embed a keyboard into it, possibly taking advantage of ideas brought up in other glass keyboard patent applications.

MacDailyNews Take: An iMac made of a single sheet of glass would certainly be a radical departure, but also potentially lighter than the current glass and aluminum iMac.


  1. Weird… Illustrations in patent applications need to be strange, to show something new and different, and not give away a final product design. It somehow reminds me of a modern Apple IIe, with its built-in keyboard and CRT on top 😏

    If Apple wants something new for iMac, go back to something old. The G4 iMac, my favorite iMac design. A base with all computing parts, a highly flexible arm (including rotation), and ultra thin light “floating” display. There’s no need for an optical drive and mechanical hard drive now, so base can be wide and flat (not a cute dome). Make the arm the design innovation.

  2. Ugh! I’d rather they keep the current design and simply upgrade the internals and add more cooling capacity. A door for adding extra RAM and an NVMe card would also be a nice touch.

    An iMac that’s just a slab of glass? They’ve got to be kidding. I absolutely do not want it if it’s going to be more expensive than the current design iMacs.

  3. Gawd Apple. Will you ever learn?

    Build a clean elegant panel display and put the computer in a separate box.

    Here’s a unique thought… I can upgrade either of the two without throwing the other one in the dump. Go Green.

    1. Nah, it’s for the kids.

      When you get to a certain age and you start hating a company you used to love, that’s a sign that they’re doing the right thing by focusing on NEW buyers. It’s no accident that roughly half of the Macs sold today are to folks that have never used a Mac before.

  4. The sketch makes it look as though you can’t adjust the angle of the display or height of it, the relationship between the keyboard and screen is fixed.

    I would be surprised if Apple actually released an iMac with such a rigidly positioned screen.

    1. but they often fall into the “change for the sake of change” mode, need to exorcise the ghost of Jony! Good change is good change, bad change is bad change, and only some adults know the difference.

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