Apple is reportedly researching the use of machined titanium with unique properties for future MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones.
A new patent uncovered by Patently Apple reveals how Apple is looking at ways to come up with an entirely new product finish and it’s borrowing an idea that it first introduced to the Apple Watch: titanium.
The patent filing, entitled “Titanium parts having a blasted surface texture,” explains the various ways that Apple could move to titanium casings while still using distinctive textured finishes that would solve some of the problems traditionally associated with the harder material.
For instance, the anodized aluminum materials that have been used on MacBooks for years is easier to etch and therefore allows for a more textured finish, while still being both durable enough and light enough to produce a good balance of weight and durability. While Titanium is even more durable and shares some of the lightweight properties of aluminum, it’s more difficult to use it to create a glossier surface.
However, Apple’s patent describes a couple of possible new techniques for processing titanium that would allow for a more attractive surface finish, making it much more practical for use in not only MacBooks but also iPads and iPhones.
Titanium is much stronger than the aluminum Apple uses in its current products. Due to the metal being lighter and stronger, Apple can use a far thinner piece to achieve the same strength and stiffness, resulting in a lighter, and thinner phone.