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Budget iPhone could feature ceramic housing design

Apple has filed a patent application for a ceramic housing design, which could be used for the rumoured low-cost iPhone.

The patent outlines a “multi-layered ceramic enclosure” describing the materials and processes that would be required to create a strong, lightweight housing with laminated ceramics.

The enclosure would consist of multiple layers of ceramic materials, such as alumina and zirconia, with one or more windows providing access to the electrical components within. One of these openings could allow for the addition of a touchscreen. According to the patent’s abstract, the housing would be used for a “handheld computing device”, which broadly encompasses a smartphone like the iPhone.

“The housing 52 can be formed of multi-layered (i.e. laminated) ceramic materials that are strong, stiff and radio transparent and therefore a suitable material for an enclosure of an electronic device capable of wireless communications,” the patent application description reads. “The radio transparency is especially important for wireless hand held devices that include antennas internal to the enclosure.”

By combining layers of various ceramic materials, all with different properties such as tensile stress and the aforementioned radio transparency, the ceramic housing could be rigid and strong.

This technique could also form a unibody design akin to that used in the iPhone 5, but could provide a more cost effective format suitable for the rumoured budget iPhone.

The much debated cheaper iPhone model has been tipped to cost around £125, with a lowered specs sheet to match its low-entry price point. Recent rumours have suggested the handset could sport the same 4-inch screen  as the iPhone 5, but lack the retina display.

Tipped to sport a summer release date, the budget iPhone could launch sometime in June or July with the handset appearing in stores late Q2 or Q3.

Would you be tempted by a cheaper iPhone handset? Do you think that smartphones are overpriced? Let us know via the TrustedReviews Facebook and Twitter pages or the comments below.

Via: Apple Insider

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