Feature: Apple's iPad

Apple's Roadmap: The Future of Glass?

Author: Ed Valdez
Published: March 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Apple logoWhen Corning released their futuristic video last year titled "A Day Made of Glass," little did we know that Apple would be part of that future. The U.S. Patent Office just published Apple's patent application for "Glass Enclosure," although it was originally filed on September 15, 2011. The details of the patent reveal a remarkable evolution for the iPhone and iPad.

As the patent application details, the portable computing device:

  • will have "...a tube like main body that is extruded in its entirety with glass material that permits wireless communications therethrough;"
  • "...may be tinted a desired color or made opaque or translucent in certain areas;"
  • will comprise "...a liquid crystal display touch screen assembly positioned underneath the tube like main body;" and
  • "...can be formed from a glass material that is radio-transparent."

Apple Patent Application Drawing
What material could provide the durability needed for a mobile glass device? It's likely to be Corning's Gorilla Glass 2 (launched at CES 2012) or a later version that hasn't been released yet. While Corning was not listed in Apple's list of 2011 Suppliers, Apple has confirmed it has helped create jobs at Corning on its Jobs Creation site and, therefore, has a relationship with Corning. Perhaps this is why Corning released its most recent video titled "A Day Made of Glass 2" which features glass tablets (like a future glass iPad) being used at home, in school and in the health care industry.

So when we anticipate the future of Apple's iPads or iPhones, we can expect to see increased wireless reliability, equally durable products and "aesthetically pleasing" designs that will keep Apple in the lead of the most innovative companies in the world.


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Article Author: Ed Valdez

As a mobile/wireless industry analyst, Ed Valdez leverages his MIT background to provide mobile tech insights on trends/culture. He is co-author of Samsung 3.0: Talent, Technology & Timing. @edvaldez8888.

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