Apple Seeks Patent For Wireless Handheld Device - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
11/30/2006
04:39 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Apple Seeks Patent For Wireless Handheld Device

A patent application shows that wireless communications will play a part either in an upcoming revision of Apple's iPod or in its long-rumored mobile phone.

Apple's latest patent filing for a handheld computing device reveals that wireless communications will play a part either in an upcoming revision of the iPod or in Apple's long-rumored mobile phone.

The patent application, filed in August and published today, summarizes the invention thus: "The portable computing device includes an enclosure that surrounds and protects the internal operational components of the portable computing device. The enclosure includes a structural wall formed from a ceramic material that permits wireless communications therethrough. The wireless communications may for example correspond to RF communications, and further the ceramic material may be radio-transparent thereby allowing RF communications therethrough."

With the introduction of Microsoft's wireless-capable Zune media player, analysts have anticipated Apple would add similar capabilities to its iPod. At the very least, this filing demonstrates that Apple's engineers are working on it.

In some ways, this filing is more about materials science than electronics. The patent application is focused on the company's innovative use of ceramics as a housing for electronic components.

"It should be noted that ceramics have been used in a wide variety of products including electronic devices such as watches, phones, and medical instruments," the filing states. "In all of these cases, however, the ceramic material (sic) have not been used as structural components. In most of these cases they have been used as cosmetic accoutrements. It is believed up till now ceramic materials have never been used as a structural element including structural frames, walls or main body of a consumer electronic device, and more particularly an enclosure of a portable electronic device such as a media player or cell phone."

What this likely means is that the next generation iPod, and probably the Apple phone, will be much more resistant to damage if dropped, in addition to being cheaper to manufacture.

"[T]here is a need for improved enclosures for portable computing devices," the filing explains. "Particularly, enclosures that are more cost effective, smaller, lighter, stronger, and aesthetically more pleasing than current enclosure designs."

You heard it here first: expensive, large, heavy, fragile, ugly devices are out.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
CIOs Face Decisions on Remote Work for Post-Pandemic Future
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/19/2021
Slideshows
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
News
CRM Trends 2021: How the Pandemic Altered Customer Behavior Forever
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/18/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll