Apple has granted a patent that could enable truly ‘matte black’ iPhone, MacBook and Apple Watch models: details

iPhone and MacBook models could launch in new matte black color options in the future as the Cupertino-based company has been granted a patent that could allow the company to produce a dark version of its smartphones, laptops, tablets and smartwatches The details shared in follow the patent document issued by the United States Patent Office (USPTO) on Tuesday. While original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Apple, have historically released devices with matte finishes, producing a device with a dark color – such as black – has proven challenging.

U.S. Patent 11751349-B2, titled “Anodized Part With Matte Black Appearance,” was granted to Apple Tuesday, and the USPTO names James Curran, Aaron Paterson, and Sonja Postak as the inventors of the technology. The document released by the Patent Office also reveals that Apple filed the patent application in May 2020.

Apple’s latest patent relates to the use of an anodized part that consists of both a metal substrate and an anodized layer created from the metal substrate. The company designed the anodized layer to take advantage of light-absorbing features located in various locations that can absorb light falling on the surface of the device case. Apple plans to etch the surface of an anodized part to create these light-absorbing properties.

To add color to the anodized layer, Apple describes the use of “pores” on the surface that have color particles embedded in them. The patent document claims that the anodized layer will have a CIELAB L* value of less than 10. This means that the surface of the product appears almost black but has a matte finish.

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Figures 6A, 6B, 7A and 7B show the etched anodized part under an electron microscope
Photo credit: USPTO/Apple

Many manufacturers have tried to create devices with a matte finish that’s almost black, but most attempts have failed – anodized metal with a black color appears shiny and reflects large amounts of light instead of absorbing it. Apple detailed in the patent document how the company managed to create a truly black device with a metal finish.

Recent reports suggest Apple may be working on products like a smart ring that can enable haptic feedback and pressure-sensitive inputs. Similarly, a recent patent filing hints at work on AirPods sensors that will allow Apple’s wireless headphones to measure the brain’s electrical activity. Apple was also recently granted a second patent that hints at the possible addition of Face ID support to future MacBook and Mac computers.

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Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chrissy Callahan joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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