With the launch of the new iPhones, Apple was able to sell their idea of an all glass enclosure even when people across the globe had grave doubts about its feasibility. Recently, Apple has patented a unique way to coat its smartphone enclosure with 18-karat gold.
As costly as it may sound, several other phone makers have tried to do that already. However, as commercial gold alloys, such as the 18-karat gold (Au) alloy, have relatively low strength and hardness, they tend to get scratched easily and are not recommended for use as enclosures for electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones, notebook computers, appliance screen and the like.
With its recent patent application, Apple claims to provide a novel method to form a gold alloy into crystalline form by mixing it with other metals. The patent discloses different methods such as rolling, heating, cooling and aging to provide strength, hardness, and durability to crystalline alloy gold.
The process discussed in the patent aims to make cosmetic colors for electronic device enclosures like – yellow gold, red gold, rose gold, pink gold, white gold, gray gold, green gold, blue gold, or purple gold. The patent disclosure has also mentioned the use of the process for 24-karat gold.
It is being talked that Apple has filed this patent, not for a commercial purpose but only to protect the idea. Well, only time will tell how, if at all, Apple implements this plating technique in its products.