June 27th, 2007

Zirconia helps Apple make iPhone sleek

iphone patent zirconia

Apple’s iPhone goes on sale Friday. According to the patent filings (see attached image), Zirconia plays an important role in the iPhone. Per FutureMusic:

Zirconia. In a hint to the iPhone’s design, Apple went to lengths to describe Zirconia, a material often used to replicate diamonds for costume jewelry. Zirconia has many advantages over other materials, such as aluminum, in that it is structurally strong, stiff and radio transparent.

“This is especially important for wireless hand held devices that include antennas internal to the enclosure,” Apple revealed in the Patent application. “Radio transparency allows the wireless signals to pass through the enclosure and in some cases enhances these transmissions.”

Other reasons for using ceramics cited in the filing are that they are highly scratch resistant, can be embedded with a wide variety of colors (no paint or coatings), and provide a variety of surface finishes including smooth and rough.

I’m just waiting to see which manufacturer is the first to put jewelry on the iPhone and sell it for $50,000 a pop.

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