Apple has invented an apparatus that will make it easy for Apple's service team to replace an iPhone or MacBook battery quickly yet securely. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Battery Removal Apparatus," which covers various methods for removing a device battery. The good news is that it may allow technicians to save an iPhone out of warranty by replacing a battery rather than having to purchase a new costly iPhone. So while Apple isn't giving users direct access to the battery, it's the next best thing.
On July 3, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their continuing work on an iPod touch/iPhone case. Apple received a granted patent for this particular design back in March. It was originally filed with USPTO in January 2010. The thrust of the patent is about Apple's original iPad cover/case that was replaced with their Smart Cover and Smart Case. Now Apple is back at this invention and the question is why? Secondly, we discovered a patent application today covering testing processes of "small articles." The manufacturing process tests for glass breakage points and bending stresses in a brittle article.
On May 22, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new robotic arm system for testing iPhones. Before devices are sold to customers, extensive wireless tests are performed. Testing allows designers to optimize antenna and wireless transceiver performance. Testing also ensures that regulatory limits on emitted radiation levels are satisfied. As smartphones are now being designed with the capability to operate in a large number of frequency bands and using multiple antennas, conventional testing systems are becoming overburdened leading to potential delays. Apple has designed a new testing system that uses a new robotic arm. And while we're on the topic of multiple antennas, another Apple patent surfacing today reveals a new antenna structure that will combine NFC with Non-NFC communications to the same antenna. With Apple recently signing an e-Wallet deal with China UnionPay requiring NFC, Apple's latest NFC invention may very well be making its way to the iPhone 6.
Last Thursday the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that they're seeking protection for a newly advanced five axis robotic arm used in the manufacture of their new Mac Pro. Apple's Senior Vice President Operations Jeff Williams states in a video presented below that in order to make the advanced Mac Pro Tower, Apple had to pioneer entirely new processes. Of course one of them relates to Apple's new robotic arm. In the end, Apple is showing us the insane depths that they're willing to go so as to create an amazingly original desktop computer. How many companies other than Apple would go to such lengths to design a new desktop today in the midst of the mobile revolution? None. Apple just thinks different. Designing cool products is just in their DNA.
On March 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Oleophobic Coating on Sapphire." Apple's invention covers a surface coating apparatus that could spray oleophobic and other coatings onto the glass of an iDevice. Apple's patent also hints that the body and bezel of future iDevices could be made of plastic, aluminum or an amorphous glass material which translates into being a liquid-metal. Today, we get another piece of Apple's sapphire materials puzzle.
On March 20, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals Apple's work with spherically shaped nano particles and pigment nano-particles in particular that could be used in inks or dyes and applied to devices via screen printing and spraying processes. If you're an industrial designer or student in this field, you may find this invention to be of great interest to you. For the rest of us, it's a little over our heads. Though admittedly, it's an interesting invention only because it's a coloring process that could be used with future products made of sapphire.
On February 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals yet another level of their fanatical attention to detail to ensure that iDevices rolling off the production line are particle and blemish free. Earlier today we posted another report covering Apple's intent to add self-healing material to iDevice and Mac display backlights to ensure that artifacts are self-eliminated. So while Apple advances their iDevices with features like Touch ID, we able to see through today's inventions that they also pay attention to the finer details that make premium Apple products. Today's report concludes with revisiting Apple's patent pending invention regarding a handheld standalone camera that Apple is still tweaking.
On January 30, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Transparent Fiber Composite." Apple's invention relates to transparent composite materials, and more particularly to relatively transparent composites formed with fibers encapsulated in a resin. Apple has been experimenting with composite materials since 2007 as we detailed in a 2010 patent report. We reported on Apple working on nano-silica fiber coatings in 2013 as well. This is all part in parcel of research that Apple is heavily investing in so as to find new materials for future devices. The wearable computer is one such category that will be able to take advantage of composite materials such as the one found in today's patent filing. Composite materials could be lighter and bend more easily than traditional plastic or metal which is ideal for clothing, smartwatches or other devices like ski boards. While today's invention provides us with no knock our revelation, it does provide us with a view into the research that Apple is currently engaged in.
On November 7, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for "iPad Air" which debuted on October 22. Apple also filed three patent applications of minor interest today covering crack resistant plastic for the iPhone 5C, multi-step laser patterning and more.