Materials, Processes

Apple Invents a Way for Service Technicians to replace an iPhone or MacBook Battery safely and securely

1AF APPLE BATTERY REMOVAL TOOL PATENT
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. 

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Apple Still Eyeing a Foldable iPod Touch/iPhone Case while a new Testing Process Designed for "Small Articles" Comes to Light

30a patent application
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.

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Apple invents a new Robotic Arm Testing System for the iPhone and introduces a new iPhone Antenna that Adds NFC

30a patent application
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.

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Apple Seeks Patent for their new US Plant Five Axis Robotic Arm

1. Cover Graphic - Apple robotic finishing system
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

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Apple Reveals an Oleophobic Coating on Sapphire Process for iDevices that may Incorporate Liquid-Metal

30a patent applicatioin
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.

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Apple Reveals the Wonderful World of Nano-Particle Inks & More

1. Cover for Apple patent re nano particle inks
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.

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Apple Invents a Cosmetic Inspection System to keep iDevices Blemish Free and Revisits their Standalone Camera Patent

1. Cover - Apple patent pending cosmetic Inspection Station invention
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.

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Apple Exploring new Transparent Fiber Composite Materials for Future Devices Including Wearable Computers

1. Cover - Apple patent transparent fiber composite

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.

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Apple Seeks "iPad Air" Trademark while Filing Patents for iPhone 5C Crack Resistant Plastic, Laser Patterning & More

1a. Cover - Multi-Step Pattern formation
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.

 

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Apple's Magnificent New Round of Manufacturing Process Patents

1A - Cover - Apple's Magnificent New Round of Manufacturing Process Patents
Anyone who loves Apple's products knows that all of Apple and especially Jony Ive and his band of merry men go to extraordinary lengths to design products with precision and attention to detail far beyond your typical technology company. Apple fans around the world always enjoy Jony Ive and his team putting together short videos that showcase various manufacturing processes involved in making insanely beautiful products such as the current iPhone 5C or 5S. We even get a kick out of Ive's meticulous mannerisms and vocabulary for describing new Apple products. This week the US Patent Office published a series of new patent applications from Apple that allow us to dip into Ive's pool of delights. Apple's latest manufacturing process patents allows us to take a peek behind the magic that goes into Apple's cool products. They reveal Apple's fanaticism and attention to unthinkable detail. In Apple's new round of magnificent inventions we see Apple working on new materials, advanced adhesives that you'd never imagine and much, much more. If you're one that appreciates Apple's detail and have a fascination for manufacturing processes, then you're in for a real treat.

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Apple Reveals New Laser Manufacturing Process for the iMac

1a. Cover - New Method for Mfg iMac
On October 17, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that their 2012 ultrathin iMac was manufactured by using a very sophisticated robotic force. The insane design precision didn't come about by accident. Apple's latest patent application describes a robotic solution created by Apple for the iMac and beyond. Apple's iMac webpage as noted above states that Apple re-imagined everything, re-engineered everything about the iMac and today's patent filing proves that out. This is Apple's second robotic invention. Apple's first design was for a robotic arm for manufacturing the iPhone that we covered back in January. Lastly, we present you with a secondary patent published today titled "Cosmetic Defect Reduction in Anodized Parts." It's Apple's new "finishing" bath designed to degrease, de-smut, anodize and chemically polish the iMac and other future iDevices until they reflect Apple's aesthetically insane finish so that they can give it their official stamp of approval: Designed by Apple in California.

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