The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 36 granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus on an invention that first surfaced back in 2015 in a Patently Apple report titled "Apple Rethinks the Home Button for Touch ID in a Creative Way." Today's granted patent covers two distinct concepts. The first concept provides an alternative Touch ID methodology beneath the iPhone's backside Apple logo. The second concept discussed covers a charging port that could be set on one of the sides of a future iPhone. That would conveniently add an Apple Pencil charging dock. Such a feature added to a future iPhone would also be seen as a direct competitor to Samsung's Note smartphone model.
Granted Patent: Concealed Electrical Connectors
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to connectors, and more particularly, to a connector concealed by a product logo provided on the housing of an electronic device.
The first concept discussed in Apple's granted patent notes that "In some embodiments, the first insert and second inserts may at least partially define an electrical path which may constitute a skin conductivity sensor, a heart rate monitor, or any other suitable biometric sensor.
In a second concept, the first and second inserts may at least partially define an electrical path constituting a battery charging circuit.
For a little more context, we can look at a 2016 patent Apple won for a new iPhone connector port that could shed light on today's granted patent for a hidden connector. Patent FIG. 7 from the 2016 patent noted below illustrates a port resembling the iPad's Smart Connector.
The key to the new connector described in today's patent is that the connector is could be set on the side of a future iPhone. The reason that this is now interesting is because Apple revealed in a patent application last week that a smart-like connector could be set into a future iPad to act as an Apple Pencil charger. That provides a needed connection as to why Apple would even consider a side connector on a future iPhone.
So in context, Apple's current granted patent stating that the hidden connector could be on the back or sides of an iPhone could very well point to how Apple could introduce an iPhone Pro model or the 10th anniversary special edition with a built-in Apple Pencil docking and charging system.
Considering there are rumors that Apple may introduce a new higher-end iPhone in the $1000 dollar range, you have to wonder if this could be one of the new features that could justify that model.
Certainly the iPhone 8 will be one of the most exciting upgrades since the release of the iPhone 6 Plus that sparked iPhone Mania that swept the globe.
Apple's granted patent 9,593,969 was originally filed in Q4 2013 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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