Apple files patent for wireless handheld device

Mobile phones, MP3 players, Wi-Fi

applelogo.pngThe EETimes has picked up upon Apple’s latest patent filing, published today but rumoured since August, of a handheld computing device with wireless communications capability.

It’s summarised as: “The portable computing device includes an enclosure that surrounds and protects the internal operational components of the portable computing device. The enclosure includes a structural wall formed from a ceramic material that permits wireless communications therethrough. The wireless communications may for example correspond to RF communications, and further the ceramic material may be radio-transparent thereby allowing RF communications therethrough.”

Well, we’ve been talking about wireless iPods and iPhones for an age, so it’s not that surprising. How it will come, though, is another matter. Maybe something else to look forward at MacWorld 2007 in January.

The patent goes on to talk about the device’s ceramic properties:

“It should be noted that ceramics have been used in a wide variety of products including electronic devices such as watches, phones, and medical instruments. In all of these cases, however, the ceramic material have not been used as structural components. In most of these cases they have been used as cosmetic accoutrements. It is believed up till now ceramic materials have never been used as a structural element including structural frames, walls or main body of a consumer electronic device, and more particularly an enclosure of a portable electronic device such as a media player or cell phone. There is a need for improved enclosures for portable computing devices,” the filing explains. “Particularly, enclosures that are more cost effective, smaller, lighter, stronger, and aesthetically more pleasing than current enclosure designs.”

So there you go. What will it materialise into?

Related stories: Apple iPhone to sport 2 megapixel camera? | iPhone tantalisingly close as Apple register trademark. Dual model rumours start | Apple iPhone would flop, UK survey suggests | Apple iPhone rumours continue: ready by January 2007?

Andy Merrett
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