Apple's MacBook's have used a rudimentary Magnet Closure System for years and today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a possible magnetic latch system redesign.
Apple's patent relates to latch systems that secure together housing components of an electronic device. A latch and a magnet (coupled with the latch) are secured with a housing component by, for example, a post that extends from the housing component. The latch and the magnet can move (i.e., rotate) with respect to the housing component.
As an example, prior to a tool applying an external magnetic field external to the electronic device, the latch is coupled to a first housing component and is engaged with a second housing component, thereby mechanically interlocking the first and second housing components.
However, when the tool applies a rotational magnetic field to the magnet (that is coupled with the latch), the magnet and the latch rotate, thereby causing the latch to disengage from the second housing component. This allows the first and second housing components to decouple from each other.
Patent FIG. 6 below illustrates a plan view of a MacBook (electronic device #100), showing several latch systems positioned in base portion #108. As shown, the MacBook would include latch systems 120a, 120b, 120c, 120d, 120e, 120f, 120g, and 120h disposed throughout base portion #108. The latch systems can collectively mechanically interlock housing component 112a and housing component 112b (shown as a dotted line).
Apple's patent FIG. 2 above illustrates a partial cross-sectional view a MacBook showing a latch system with its main magnet #122; FIG. 14 illustrates a flowchart showing a method for accessing a component located in the MacBook.
For hardware buffs who want to dive deeper into the detail, review patent application 20230266800.