Apple patent document shows unibody, sheet metal iPod | iLounge News


Apple patent document shows unibody, sheet metal iPod


Apple has been exploring the prospect of an iPod model with a unified enclosure similar to the “unibody” MacBook and MacBook Pro computers, an patent filing discovered by MacNN disclosed today. In the course of discussing the design, which would use inexpensive, cost-saving sheet metal “formed in such a way that the final part looks like it was machined down from a large thick slab of material,” Apple offers a roughly sketched example of an iPod classic that features the same sharp, seamless body lines as the third-generation iPod shuffle and metal MacBooks, while preserving the screen, Click Wheel, headphone port, and Hold switch placement found in fifth- and sixth-generation hard disk-based iPods. Notably, even the substantially aluminum current-generation iPod nanos still rely on plastic top and bottom pieces, and no full-sized iPod has previously done away with the polished steel housing originally developed by Apple for the 2001 first-generation model. As with all Apple patents, this filing does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company‚Äôs research in this area.

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I am not surprised they are doing this, but I am curious how they would implement it into the iphone and ipod touch.

Posted by Dan on April 9, 2009 at 10:30 PM (CDT)


I don’t quite get it. For Apple to attempt to seasmleessly use steel is a whole lot more difficult than just using aluminum poured into a mold. Steel is rolled out to the desired thighness, then bent into a shape, followed by welding to anchor the seams. Contrast that with aluminum or titanium. and steel seems like a lot of trouble. You can get the staimless steel shiny look all around just as you do with the polished aluminum back, by going all aluminum, and you do it with so much less weight and no need for anti corrosion coatings. I’d love to see an all metal iPod.

Posted by Steven Western on April 9, 2009 at 10:37 PM (CDT)


It’s probably stamped and milled, certainly not welded. Welding would be far too costly for small, low priced items like iPods.

I’d love to see the backs of iPods get a matte finish. The current shiny finish is tacky and shows fingerprints easily.

Posted by jeffharris on April 10, 2009 at 1:09 AM (CDT)

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