Skip to main content

Apple Working to Make Gadgets Scratch Resistant

There's nary a thing more exciting than unboxing a new gadget. Whether it's a phone or an MP3 player, we're so in love with that intoxicating new-electronics smell and the screen protector put in place to protect the most sensitive part of the device from scratches and scrapes during shipping.

Unfortunately, as most of us know all too well, once you peel back that little scrap of plastic, it's only a matter of time before your new toy gets dropped for the first time; with that first drop begins the slow descent into 'used gadget' territory. Marks will start to appear, as if from nowhere, and you'll have no clue where they came from. Eventually you'll learn to love the weathered and beaten charm your phone has taken on, but when friends show off their new toys, you'll still stare wistfully at the picture-perfect, blemish-free casing.

Dented, cracked gadgets could soon be a thing of the past, though. At least, they could for Apple users. The Cupertino-based company is said to be experimenting with ways to make electronics scratch resistant and a recent patent application filing shows that they've arrived upon cheap nitride coatings as a cost-effective solution.

"In addition to providing a durable, hard surface that is both scratch and impact resistant, the nitride layer allows for the natural surface color and texture of the underlying stainless steel to remain visible to the user," AppleInsider quotes from the patent application, which was filed in April of this year.

"It is this natural surface color and texture of the stainless steel that adds to the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the consumer electronic product, thereby enhancing the user's overall experience."

AI goes on to report that the application describes a variety of methods to place the nitride on the surface, where the material would be at least 15 microns thick and carry a Vickers Hardness value of at least 1,000.

I'm glad Apple gadgets will be more durable and scratch resistant but I know my Nexus One is sad that Google didn't think of this first and before I bought it. Sorry, Andy. At least no one is blowing you up with a firecracker.

Source: AppleInsider via Giz

  • tronika
    i'll believe it when i see it. i own an iphone4 and the gorilla glass is a joke.
    Reply
  • burnley14
    tronikai'll believe it when i see it. i own an iphone4 and the gorilla glass is a joke.
    Yeah, maybe they should work on things making break-resistant first.
    Reply
  • April you say.... so how comes there was still an issue with antennagate seeing as some nitrides can act as insulators and how comes this was never applied as an easy cheap fix for the antenna issue, it also adds to the durability of the iPhone

    maybe im just fickle but it all just doesn't make sense to me....
    Reply
  • icepick314
    hey!!

    my iPhone 4 glass is broken but at least it doesn't have any scratches!!!
    Reply
  • JasonAkkerman
    CVD the cases?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_diamonds#Chemical_vapor_deposition

    /probably not cost effective, but would still be cool.
    Reply
  • jacobdrj
    Invisishield anyone? Lol. Ugly as a moose, but it does work... However their return policy on their 'lifetime warranty' leaves a lot to be desired...
    Reply
  • bustapr
    Anyone can live with scratches. Its when your pretty new iphone just fell to the floor and the screen up the middle that you get worried.

    Id like to see a phone with the materials of the flexible screens, I bet those are harder to break that that gorilla glass crap.
    Reply
  • bustapr
    Is there any point in Toms Style....
    Reply
  • N.Broekhuijsen
    this has been used by someone else years ago I believe to make cars more scratch resistant. I know people here in the middle east that use something similar on the front of their cars to make sure that they don't get so scratched up in the sand/desert, the sand at high speed tends to damage cars.

    anyways back here this is typical apple I see here, take something somebody has already done, patent it, and pretend that they did not know about it.

    and go ahead, downthumb me for bashing apple
    Reply
  • lukeiamyourfather
    Maybe they should focus on making them shatter resistant.
    Reply