Apple Wins Patent for Fused Glass Housing for Possible Future Devices like an iMac and more
Patently Apple posted a patent report back in 2013 titled "Apple Files Patent for Fused Glass Device Housings for TV & More." The patent was originally discovered in a European filing. Apple has been granted five patents for this invention since that time. We covered a 2015 granted patent for this in 2015 here. Today Apple was granted their sixth patent for this invention.
Apple's invention relates to fused glass device housings. As noted in cover graphic, the process could possibly cover a future Apple TV and/or a future iMac replacing today's long-standing love affair with aluminum.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a perspective view of an illustrative electronic device with a display and a supporting stand which could be a future TV or iMac or standalone display; FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an illustrative electronic device such as a tablet computer.
Apple's patent FIG. 23 is a diagram showing how glass housing structures formed from a five-sided box of fused glass members may be provided with internal components
Today's granted patent stems from a continuation patent only filed in March of this year under number 20200093009. Apple had dropped their original 20 patent claims and replaced them with 20 new ones. One new point is found in the new Claim #1 wherein it states in-part:
"… a second glass structure formed from a second glass material and fused to the first glass structure, the second glass structure defining a curved exterior sidewall; and a third glass structure formed from a third glass material that defines a rear surface of the glass housing; and a display positioned within an interior volume defined at least in part by the first, second, and third glass structures."
The original patent didn't have a "third glass material" and there was not "curved exterior sidewall.
Another standout is found in Claim #17 wherein it states: "at least a portion of the second glass structure is substantially transparent; the housing further defines a side structure positioned between the second glass structure and the third glass structure; and the side structure is formed from one or more of: a metal material or a polymer material."
You could review the remaining new patent claims in granted patent 10,842,031 here.
Apple has been thinking of a future glass structured iMac for some time now. The most striking glass iMac design concept to date was revealed in a patent application report posted back in January of this year. Below are two of the patent figures from that patent application.