The biggest issue with using devices having metal surfaces is that they are prone to smudges and fingerprints. Apple is, however, working to change all that, and is researching the use of processed titanium with inimitable properties to minimize the appearance of any unwanted stains on the surface of its devices. Also Read: Apple may launch foldable OLED iPhone in 2023 with Apple Pencil support
What do we know: Apple recently filed a patent that spoke about using oxide coatings on metal surfaces, including surfaces of titanium and titanium alloys. The filing was spotted by Patently Apple and detailed the ways to “reduce or eliminate interference-coloring effects”
- Apple is looking at manufacturing its devices using titanium and its alloys due to their strength, toughness and hardness
- Conventional oleophobic coatings can be of little benefit on titanium surfaces, and diminish from the superficial look and feel of a product
- According to Patently Apple, Apple’s patent covers various embodiments that relate to coatings for metal surfaces
Anodized aluminium, used on current Apple devices, is not as durable or strong as titanium. Also, titanium is not very visually striking. To get past the problem and make the titanium cage more attractive, the patent outlines “blasting, etching, and chemical process”. Also Read: Mark Zuckerberg vs. Tim Cook: Facebook wants its staff to “inflict pain” on Apple over privacy row
Advantages of oxide coating: According to Apple’s patent,oxide coating lets the surface of a device to reflect light as though fingerprints are absent, thus masking smudges. Also, the oxide coatings can be used on multiple surfaces including “aluminium, aluminium alloy, steel, magnesium, magnesium alloys, zirconium, or zirconium alloys”. Lastly, these oxide coatings can be used “to form durable and cosmetically appealing finishes” on a wide range of Apple devices.
Final words: The excitement about Apple opting for processed titanium is real, but one can not be sure when this may happen. Insights from patent filings are exciting and it gives us a sneak-peak into the future Apple products. Also Read: Apple iCar? Self-driving car with “next level” battery tech from iPhone maker could be a reality in 2024