It might not be a feature that will make it to Apple’s next iPhone or any of its other consumer electronics products, but a newly published patent suggests that the company is thinking of ways to make its products scratch-proof and bend-proof.
On Thursday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new Apple patent that illustrates a way in which the company could create “abrasion-resistant surface finishes on metal enclosures.” According to BGR, this is another sign that Apple wants to make the iPhone and other products “indestructible,” as the company had emphasized the iPhone XS and XS Max’s enhanced water resistance as one of the new phones’ selling features. The company’s press literature also gave special mention to the front and back glass used on the iPhone XS, which was said to be the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone,” with higher levels of scratch resistance as a noteworthy characteristic.
Despite the improvements in water and scratch resistance promised to buyers of the iPhone XS series, BGR added that Apple is apparently looking to eliminate those scratches that could “ruin” Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. These scratches, as shown on the patent, are those that could result when “hard or abrasive” materials come into contact with portable gadgets like the ones mentioned, even during normal use. The patent also indicated that Apple wants to protect its devices from any damage that could happen when they are accidentally dropped and come in contact with “hard contact materials.”
Aside from nicks and scratches, past iPhones have been known to bend, with the iPhone 6 Plus “BendGate” issue from 2014 being a notable example. While 9to5Mac stressed that there are many other phones that could bend when intense pressure is applied and that all gadgets have their own weak points, Apple’s new patent also indicated that the company is working on a type of coating that could prevent the metal used in its devices from deforming or getting dented.
As Apple filed the documentation for the patent in March 2017, BGR wrote that it’s still unclear when Apple plans to make its iPhones and other devices scratch-proof and bend-proof with the technology illustrated in the documentation. It was also hinted that there might be a chance that the technology is already being used in some way, shape, or form. However, the publication suggested that the patent is a sign that Apple is “paying attention to feedback from customers,” given the plethora of consumers who have complained about scratches on their iPhones and other Apple devices.