You can never say that Apple isn't always trying to think ahead for their next great aesthetic design. Their latest move proves that with a new patent for all-glass devices. The patent specifically describes a method for building devices with all-glass outer casings. It will supposedly fuse pieces together providing a completely seamless final design.
It's possible this patent is something Apple might never actually use, especially considering it looks like they are moving toward sapphire glass technology. This is especially noteworthy considering that an all-glass device would probably be highly fragile, unless Apple comes up with something to mitigate that. Of course, it's also possible Apple will figure out a way to marry both of these concepts into one.
Here's a quote with a few more details,
The all-glass structures are designed for maximum durability but also weight savings, with designs that fuse pieces together to avoid having to use a single heavy block of material, and internal structures like fused-on ribs and reinforcement points, also made of glass, placed at key points where structural integrity could be weaker.
Unlike the iPhone 4, which featured front and back glass panels, the patent would allow Apple to build completely glass-encased gadgets, which would allow for a completely different aesthetic vs. other gadget-maker’s designs. An all-glass Retina Cinema Display would certainly stand out from the crowd in terms of monitors, and an all-glass iPhone would definitely draw even more headlines than usual.
Of course, glass is still subject to impact damage and other potential pitfalls, and as with many of its other patents Apple may simply have experimented with the tech but then moved on to something else (like sapphire glass construction, for instance), but the patent does cite Apple SVP Jony Ive as one of its main inventors.
What do you think? Would you like to see an all-glass iDevice?