Apple is reportedly working on a new bonding technique that will make the next iPhone even tougher than its predecessors.
The Cupertino giant has filed a patent with the US Patent & Trademark Office that improves on an older patent from 2008 on using a so-called “ultrasonic bonding” that makes iDevices so sturdy.
According to Patently Apple (PA), Apple may have "refined the process of ultrasonic bonding in their latest Apple TV and iPad designs where it's necessary to bring metal and plastic together to save on costs and to keep the devices lighter".
Furthermore, the technique could improve the look and feel of devices compared to products assembled using traditional metal welds.
"Seams and joins of plastic parts that have been ultrasonically welded together can also be quite aesthetically pleasing in comparison with some traditional metallic welds,” PA explains.
However, there’s a snag, too, that is – having two melting points in plastic and metal could prove problematic for designers “with respect to the materials that can be used in a particular design, such as for the housing and internal features or parts of an electronic device having complex internal features”.
Exactly when Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 remains a mystery, having launched the iPhone 4S in autumn rather than its traditional summer release cycle in June.
Although it’s all speculation at this point, features mooted to be on board of the next-generation kit include a 4.6-inch display, 4G LTE support, an A6 quad core processor and a 10-megapixel camera.