The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 64 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's patent titled "Electronic devices with thin display housings" that emphasizes the use of fiber composite materials for a future MacBook (Air) with an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display.
More specifically, carbon fiber is in context with a "woven fabric." Apple notes in their patent claims that "the carbon fibers are fibers in a woven fabric and wherein the carbon-fiber composite material includes a polymer binder in which the woven fabric is embedded.
Elsewhere in this granted patent suggests the inner housing could contain carbon-fiber composite material, fiberglass, and/or other fiber composites
This proposed unibody MacBook design would have a first housing comprising a planar wall portion of stainless steel with curved sidewalls wherein the housing and display have a combined thickness of less than 2 mm.
Alternatively, the case may be formed of plastic, glass, ceramics, fiber composites (e.g., carbon fiber composites formed from carbon fibers in a polymer binder or other fiber composite materials), metal (e.g., stainless steel, aluminum, nickel-iron alloys such as Invar, etc.), other suitable materials, or a combination of any two or more of these materials.
Apple notes that "To help reduce the thickness of the device it may be desirable to form the display from display layers that are relatively thin.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a MacBook; FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of an illustrative display housing showing how the housing may have edges with curved profiles; FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative electronic device having a display mounted in a housing with sidewall portions.
Apple's patent FIG. 8 above is a diagram of an illustrative display housing showing how fiber composite material for forming the housing may have fibers that run parallel to the edges of the display housing or that run at non-zero angles with respect to the edges of the display housing.
Apple's granted patent 10,429,892 was originally filed in Q2 2016 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.