Apple gains patent for embedding sapphire displays into LiquidMetal chassis

Apple gains patent for embedding sapphire displays into LiquidMetal chassis
A new patent sounds like the beginnings of an Apple fan's dream iPhone, but we have at least one concern with the line of thinking that is present in the filing. Today, Apple was granted a patent that had been filed back in 2008 titled "Methods and systems for integrally trapping a glass insert in a metal bezel", but in plain English, it is a plan to embed a sapphire display into a LiquidMetal chassis.

Although the title and the abstract of the filing use general terms, it does later call out sapphire glass and LiquidMetal by name. The patent essentially calls for metal in liquid form to be injection molded around a piece of glass in order to form the bond. In practical terms, this means that the glass display of your iPhone wouldn't simply be glued onto the digitizer assembly, it would be baked in to the chassis itself. Theoretically, this method would result in a more seamless transition from glass to metal, and could make the device feel nicer in the hand. 

It could also make it impossible to fix your iPhone yourself, especially if Apple moves to a unibody design. It has actually gotten easier to fix a cracked display on a newer iPhone compared to the models from a few years ago, but a build design like this would essentially require a trip to the Apple Store. Sapphire glass is strong, but it is not unbreakable, and Corning would say that it isn't even as good a choice as Gorilla Glass in many ways (though Corning is a bit biased). 

Of course, despite repeated rumors of LiquidMetal on the way, there is no indication that Apple will be using the material in an iPhone anytime in the near future. So, this patent is still quite a way off from becoming reality anyway. 

source: USPTO via AppleInsider

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