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Apple wants to fix the iPhone’s biggest design flaw


iPhone 6 antenna

The iPhone 6 is undeniably beautiful, but there’s one design niggle that Apple wants to overcome with future handsets.

We’re referring to the phone’s antenna, which resides behind the plastic strip coating that runs along the top and bottom of the phone’s rear. The plastic allows radio waves to penetrate the chassis.

Unfortunately, that same plastic coating means the antenna looks awkward and ungainly when set against the phone’s aluminium casing.

Fortunately, Apple has filed a patent application for a new composite metal material that looks just like anodised metal, but allows the transfer of radio waves.

The patent doesn’t just refer to the iPhone, but also points to the technology being used in other devices too, as reported by iClarified.

One instance given is the MacBook’s touchpad, which currently has a slightly different appearance to the rest of the notebook’s chassis.

Apple openly admits that a conspicuous antenna isn’t ideal for the company’s refined device aesthetics.

In the patent, Apple states: “One design challenge associated with computing devices is maintaining a sleek and consistent appearance of a metallic outer enclosure for housing the various complex internal components.”

It continues: “Unfortunately, plastic surfaces and glass surfaces have different visual qualities than metallic surfaces, which result in a visible break in the metallic surface of the housing. This visible break can detract from the smooth and continuous look of the metal housing.”

Related: Best Smartphone 2015

Of course, this is only a patent application, which means it hasn’t even been authorised by the US Patent & Trademark Office yet.

There’s also no telling whether Apple will actually utilise the technology described in the iPhone 6S, the company’s much-rumoured 2015 smartphone.

Would you rather Apple hid its smartphone antenna, or do you think it adds character to the device? Let us know in the comments.

While you’re here, check out our video review of the antenna-toting iPhone 6:


June 22, 2015, 11:28 am

Just make a thicker version of the phone with the extra room used for a larger battery.

Gareth Burleigh

June 22, 2015, 1:09 pm

Design flaw? Design flaw seems a little heavy handed, design by necessity perhaps. Id consider something a design flaw if it stopped the phone working as it should

I honestly quite like them don't bother me one little bit. Certainly preferable to the black plastic bottom of my original iPhone


June 22, 2015, 1:30 pm

And I thought the finger was pointing at the sticky-out camera housing...


June 22, 2015, 7:29 pm

smells like another lustful apple victory

Michael Gates

June 22, 2015, 10:04 pm

Are you aware this sentence makes no sense? The definition of 'lustful' is 'having or showing signs of strong sexual desire'! If you are trying to say you can smell Apple's victory it would be better to just say 'Smells like another Apple victory'.


June 22, 2015, 10:06 pm

I think we both need to get out more

Michael Gates

June 22, 2015, 10:08 pm

Yes, probably true!


June 22, 2015, 10:50 pm

Funny :)


June 22, 2015, 10:50 pm

I wont say it - on this occasion...:)


June 22, 2015, 10:52 pm

Actually I do not like the strips as they remind me of road markings and also cheapens the look of the product. I do not like apple for sure, but the phone itself is very nicely designed other than the those hideous lines in my opinion.


June 23, 2015, 6:31 am

I think it is kind of the converse of "damned with faint praise". By writing up this insignificant detail as the iPhone's "biggest design flaw", I think they are trying to give it a back handed compliment.. Maybe. Not sure.


June 23, 2015, 7:59 am

Apple wants to fix the iPhone’s biggest design flaw
Just the one?


Gareth Burleigh

June 23, 2015, 8:09 am

Ha ha I have no idea. Maybe once the site finally changes its name from Trusted Reviews to Unsubstantiated Apple Rumours it will all become clear

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