Apple files for a patent on a material that looks like metal, but allows for wireless reception


For some, the antenna lines on the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus are as annoying as panty lines are to women. Back in October, we told you that some owners using the latest iPhone models were finding that these lines were getting discolored by sliding the phone in and out of jean pockets. Still, it beats the antenna system that was employed on the Apple iPhone 4 which spawned Antennagate.

Nonetheless, Apple is looking to get rid of those Antenna lines, which are necessary to get a radio signal through the anodized metal used on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As the first step to removing those lines, Apple has filed an application with the USPTO for a new metal that has the same look and feel as the material used on the latest iterations of Apple's smartphone. But this new material will allow radio signals to reach the components inside a future iPhone model by having enough transparency to let them through.

The patent application mentions a couple of different ways that Apple can produce this imitation anodized metal. One way involves depositing a non-capacitive layer on top of a metal oxide layer. Another method involves the forming of an imitation metal oxide layer and covering it with a non-capacitive layer.


There is no guarantee that Apple will ever use the methods outlined in the patent application. Still, for those who would rather see the iPhone sport a clean look, this patent application offers some hope.

source: USPTO via BusinessInsider

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35 Comments

1. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Unobatanium from the planet Pandora??

27. waddup121 unregistered

not gonna happen

2. kendog

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 08, 2014

On my space grey iPhone 6 the lines look great. I seriously don't understand the fuss that people have about them.

4. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Its almost like different people have different opinions on subjective matters :) Maybe their composite is also strong and lighter than aluminium, or something else like that

17. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

They look just horrible and random and coming from the same company that designed the iPhone 4 and 5 makes no sense.

18. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

They look completely randomly placed and just horrible and coming from the same company that designed the iPhone 4 and 5 is beyond comprehension.

31. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

Looks good on the space grey and silver imo. The gold is only one that looks kinda funny.

3. emperius

Posts: 17; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

So a material with a painted "metal" look or possibly a dialelectric material? Why the hell are they patenting something ordinary discovered centuries ago? The patent system here is polluted with bs and monetary protection. Around 500,000 patents are given a year, is there really 500,000 innovative products and services helping humanity? No there isn't.

10. BobbyBuster

Posts: 854; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

People ask me what I hate about Android & Samsung. One of the many reasons is ignorant SheepDroids / Sammy fanboys like you busy bashing anything other than Android so cluelessly. What do you know about patents? Let me make one thing clear: == IDEAS CANNOT BE PATENTED == You get patents for IMPLEMENTATIONS, described via claims. If Android vendors want to get rid of the antenna lines, Apple's patent isn't in the way provided they use methods that differ from the ones described in Apple's patent. A single discrepancy from Apple's claims will do. What's the problem? Go educate yourself, moron.

14. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

>busy bashing anything other than Android so cluelessly I believe you are the most busiest person in the world keeping eye on 100 accounts of yours trying to bash android and not succeeding like ever lol Btw you seem mad already, PA expect some rage on other articles real soon

30. BobbyBoster

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Disregard what I said, I'm just very butthurt by Android so I blame the OS instead of the fanboys.

15. drunkenjay

Posts: 1657; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

Wow thats exactly what i think of isheeps. coincidence? thank god ideas cannot be patented or apple would have patented a friken rectangle. oh wait. they already did. guess phones have to be circles from now on.

16. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Every company tries it's best to stop it's competitors .. But Apple appears to be worse because it's more powerful.

24. iosl0ver5eva

Posts: 119; Member since: Jan 16, 2015

I have an iPhone 6 and I bought it because it works well and syncs perfectly with all my devices! Am I really an "isheep" for buying a product that works for me?

32. AlikMalix unregistered

Hey go ahead and post me proof that Apple patented a rectangle or eat that vomit you posted.

34. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

35. AlikMalix unregistered

I still dont see a patent for a rectangle. It's a patent for a device that's in rectangular shape with rounded corners with certain radius full glass front and beveled rear and sides. I also see a button in the middle bottom. I do Not see a a drawing of a rectangle. I would agree that is a very broad patent and it should require more details, but that's the fault of a patent office for letting Apple patent that without more details. But it's NOT as simple as a rectangle. Would you really rather that every manufacturer makes exactly the same device with a different logo? This patent actually pushed Samsung to be more wide angle centric than what Apple did - a more of taller tablet - for the record: I like samsungs wide way approach as I use the iPad more wide wise than tall wise. Please provide a link to where Apple patented a rectangle - not a device shaped like apples iPad.

26. willard12 unregistered

You can patent something that is still in idea phase. It does not have to be implemented or invented. It only has to have a thorough enough description so that someone could try to implement it. Therefore, you are the ignorant moron. If not, then we should see this material in the 6S and you can tell us all how well these time machine patents were implemented, Mr. McFly. If these patents were actually implemented, I'm sure the first thing people would do is go back and delete all of your idiotic comments. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/05/14/time-machine-patents_n_5323023.html

33. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

I am only going to say one thing to you before I ignore the dozen pathetic troll attempts you make in the future. You make Apple users look like morons and give them a bad name. Nobody cares what you think, nor do we care that you don't like Android. I love both Apple and Android and guess what? ' Competition is awesome, both sides keep getting better and better. If it wasn't for Android, we would be stuck with s**tty 3 inch iPhones with low res displays. Apple has never made such huge improvements on their iPhones and OS before Android became their competition.

19. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

The process to make the material can be.

5. TyrionLannister unregistered

People don't want a material looking like metal, they want a material feeling like metal. That's why LG's brushed plastic and Samsung's faux leather didn't take off.

7. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

I think this material will only replace those non-metal lines on iPhone. Not the entire back unlike Galaxy or LG. Hence, by and large the phone will still be metal except few areas which hardly anyone touches or small enough for anyone to know the difference of it being non-metal. Kinda like out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Its a placebo effect only for design coherence

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The difference is plastic vs composite Composites are generally stronger, lighter and more expensive than metals (even though they often have a plastic matrix)

22. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

There is no citation that directly correlates with what you're saying. At best, it's just another anecdote. This patent (or rather material) possibly has the same feel of metal.

6. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Amazing how some pets use metal casings and they don't have those ugly antenna gaps. Look at the S6 for example. The gaps are so small.they are hard to see, same for Note 4 too.

21. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Samsung changed their antenna though, didn't they? Using an older style of antenna.

9. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

The whole U.S. patent law is a bloody mess, time to overhaul it

11. BobbyBuster

Posts: 854; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

Wow, stupid SheepDroids in full action. You know what? ANYONE can file an objection to ANY patent pending. Stop being mere keyboard warriors and do that. Do something for humanity, bringing down evil Apple.

13. gaming64 unregistered

The only guy that isn't contributing to humanity is you. Stop creating a cancer surrounding this website and get a gorlfriend. At least she will satisfy you.

28. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Wow, stupid hater in full action. You know what? ANYONE here thinks you're an idiot because of your mindless bashing. Stop being mere keyboard warriors and do that. Do something for humanity

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