Remember when brand new iPhones used to bend? What about stainless steel Apple watches or Jet Black iPhone 7 claws? And do not even start my MacBook aluminum scraper. Well, Apple can fix all of this in the not so distant future, as it is currently studying ways to make wear-resistant surface treatment on metal enclosures.
No, it's really the name of a new Apple patent application that the USPTO published earlier this week.
Apple will obviously make iPhone (and other products) indestructible. During the iPhone event, the company insisted on the iPhone XS Series' IP68 rating, and noted that the new phones should handle much better with water and other liquids. It also insisted on iPhone X's new glass – from the press release:
Designed for front and rear glass has the most durable glass anywhere in a smartphone with improved scratch resistance while the glass provides faster wireless charging. iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max reaches a new level of splash and water resistance on IP68 for up to 2 meters for 30 minutes and protects against everyday emissions, including coffee, tea and soft drinks.
But Apple will also prevent scratches that can "destroy" an iPhone, iPad, MacBook or Apple Watch (our weight):
Laptops, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, come into contact with a wide range of hard and abrasive materials during normal use. Furthermore, data processing devices may be dropped and subjected to shock or wear from hard counterparts. If the enclosures of the data processing devices are insufficiently protected, the enclosures may develop scratches, blockages, and other errors that will damage the cosmetic appeal to the encapsulations. If the capsules include anodized metal parts, scratches, grooves and imperfections may break through the protective anode film and allow contaminants to corrode the underlying metal. Therefore, there is a need for improved coating for metallic surfaces.
It is unclear when these technologies will be used or if they are already in use on new Apple devices. The documentation was filed in March 2017 with the USPTO. But from Apple's patent it is obvious that Apple is aware of customer feedback. Check out the following image:
And here's the text that comes with it (our weight):
Oxygen coating 204 is generally harder than underlying substrate 202. For example, a Type II oxide coating 204 may have a Vickers hardness varying between 300 and 500 HV. Thus, oxide coating 204 may provide significant resistance to impact stresses that otherwise plastically deform a relatively softer underlying aluminum alloy substrate 202. However, oxide coating 204 may still be subjected to scratches. For example, the hard particle 205, which may consist of metal, sand, stone, concrete, pig, glass or other hard material as part 200 may occur during normal use, contact and slide over outer surface 206 (as represented by arrow 208) and deflect some of oxide coating 204. Even at relatively lightly pressurized pressure 209, outer surface 206 may develop a visible scratch 210 that may impair cosmetics from part 200. Further, if oxide coating 204 is colored a dark color (e.g., black) and has outer surface 206 which is patched to high gloss, it may lack the optical depth to hide such a scratch 210, thus making scratch 210 particularly eye-catching. That is, a high gloss outer surface 206 on a polished dark colored oxide coating 204 may mark a very small surface scratch 210 or other defects that can be displayed as white or silver colored spots.
If you thought of Jet Black iPhone 7 when you read the section above, well, you're probably not the only one. However, in the future it can not happen.
Also describes the patent a coating that would be as powerful as preventing metal deformations. This is because external forces can be strong enough to drain the metal, especially if it is aluminum, which could destroy the phone's aspect.
The patent explains that the abrasion resistance coating will be applied to the top of the paint layer, which indicates that Apple could offer additional color choices for its products without worrying about wear and tear.
However, for the time being, I would recommend using cases and screen savers with your new iPhones, as I tend to be a bit paranoid about it.