Skip to main content

Apple patent details plans for ‘indestructible’ iPhones and MacBooks

When the iPhone 6 Plus was released in 2014, photos of the phone bending surfaced, resulting in what was called BendGate. Then there are the scratches you see on your MacBook Pro body or on the Jet Black iPhone 7.

Image courtesy: Apple

Image courtesy: Apple

However, a patent (opens in new tab) filed in March 2017 at the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) – and published on September 13 this year – reveals that Apple is trying to make all its devices scratchproof and unbendable.

Physically indestructible

According to the patent, Apple is working on an an abrasion-resistant finish that can protect the company’s device from wear and tear.

Called “Abrasion-Resistant Surface Finishes On Metal Enclosures”, the patent describes a the finish as having two layers – a lower metallic layer, with a harder outer layer coated in what could either be a ceramic material or a carbon-based substance with similar hardness to diamond. 

The patent describes the outer layer as being between 0.5 micrometers to 3 micrometers, with the layer below measuring between 8-30 micrometers.

Image courtesy: Apple

Image courtesy: Apple

The abrasive-resistant coating, according to the patent, will likely be applied over the paint layer, which could open the gates to more color options on future Apple devices.

Image courtesy: Apple

Image courtesy: Apple

While Apple has added an IP68 water- and dust-resistance rating to its 2018 trio of iPhones, it's unclear whether the patented scratch-resistant technology had been applied to the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max or iPhone XR.

Given the high price tag on the new handsets, though, we'd recommend using a screen guard and a case, in case you're the paranoid kind.

  • Is the ‘cheap’ iPhone XR worth every penny? Read our hands-on review to find out.

[Via BGR (opens in new tab)]

Sharmishta Sarkar
Sharmishta Sarkar

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.