Anodized aluminum is Apple’s all-time favourite when in comes to materials, with surgical-grade steel — that we’ve begun seeing with the new iPhones — being more of a recent introduction.
But according to a patent discovered by Patently Apple, it seems that Apple could be interested in exploring other materials, such as titanium.
The patent describes how Apple plans to give titanium an aesthetic finish. It comes after a patent was granted to Apple last month for a genuine matte black MacBook. In that patent, however, Apple details how to give a naturally matte material a semi-gloss finish.
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A report from 9to5Mac, which spotted the first patent filing, says it is a more technical patent and deals with the process of combining sandblasting and etching with a chemical anodizing process in order to achieve the desired finish. Apple says sandblasting and etching is better at hiding flaws in metal, while the latter offers better protection.
The end result could actually resemble the Apple Watch Edition, which unlike the other Apple Watch models is made using titanium and has a textured surface. It should be noted that this isn’t the first time Apple has used the material, apart from the Apple Watch. The Powerbook G4, launched in the early 2000s, was also made of titanium.
However, back then the process that Apple used resulted in some issues like how brittle the material was that it resulted in breakages, as well as paint chipping off. There’s no word on whether or not Apple will actually go through with this patent, but it could be interesting to see it brought back.
Apple currently uses aluminum for its iPhone, MacBook, and iPad models, which is considered a lighter version of Titanium. However, titanium is much stronger and can be used as a much thinner part to achieve the same strength and stiffness.
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