Apple Granted Patents for All-Glass iPhone and Pro Tower

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(Image: USPTO)Apple patents a whole lot of ideas it has, just to be safe, and some of them even come to market, eventually. A new patent that is dated November 16, 2021 is a bit different than most in that it shows designs for all-glass Apple products, including its iPhone, Apple Watch, and even a theoretical glass Mac Pro tower. An all-glass iPhone would surprise nobody, but PC tower made of glass? That’s definitely, “thinking different.”

Of course, the headline product in the filing is its glass phone, which is described in the abstract as an, “Electronic device with glass enclosure.” As 9to5Mac accurately notes, it’s almost as if Apple has patented a glass box. The Abstract for the filing describes it as such, “An electronic device includes a six-sided glass enclosure defining an interior volume and comprising a first glass member and a second glass member. The first glass member defines at least a portion of a first major side of the six-sided glass enclosure, at least a portion of a peripheral side of the six-sided glass enclosure, a first region along the peripheral side and having a first thickness, and a second region along the peripheral side and having a second thickness different from the first thickness. The second glass member is attached to the first glass member and defines at least a portion of a second major side of the six-sided glass enclosure. The electronic device further includes a touchscreen display within the interior volume and positioned adjacent at least a portion of each of the six sides of the six-sided glass enclosure.”

The filing shows a display on the back of the phone, which would be a first (Image: USPTO)

Sorry you had to read all of that. What’s interesting to note in the included drawing is the phone has notifications along the bottom edge of the phone for the AAPL stock price and current temperature, with the side buttons inlaid on a curved edge allowing for Airport mode, Wi-Fi enabling, and volume control. The filing also shows the capability to have a display on the back of the phone, and as PatentlyApple points out, the filing shows the inclusion of an example display component that may define six display regions. In the lengthy filing Apple notes the design discusses the challenges inherit in producing, “…a device with multiple displays viewable through multiple transparent sides–including embodiments where displays are visible through each of the six main sides of the device.” Obviously a device with multiple displays is nothing new, and the same goes for phones with displays on the edges, but a phone with a display on every side is a whole new ball of wax, indeed.

Apple’s included almost no information about its all-glass Mac Pro tower in the filing. (Image: USPTO)

To wrap things up, Apple also included a drawing of an all-glass Mac Pro tower, which is kind of a head scratcher at first, but upon reflection it would actually be kind of neat. Those of us who have gaming PCs know the feeling of pride we feel as we gaze through our case’s tempered glass window to stare at our lovely components in-action, which is partly responsible for the current RGB craze (which we admit, we are guilty of appreciating). Imagine an all-glass Mac, transparent on every side, with a huge M1 Max Extreme CPU pumping away inside with some sort of Apple-designed, closed-loop cooling system. That could actually pretty cool, pardon the pun.

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