Apple might use metallic glass alloys on back panel in next iPhones | The American Ceramic Society

Apple might use metallic glass alloys on back panel in next iPhones

hand holding an iPhone 7

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We all know how loyal Apple users are to their devices, despite the tendency for some screens to crack when dropped.

Apple fans, the good news is, you may have something new to cheer about when the next version of the iPhone makes its debut. Unfortunately it’s not an improved screen.

Rumors are spreading around the internet that the next Apple iPhone may have a metallic glass back, as the company published a patent with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office back in 2016.

Metallic glasses are alloys created by rapidly cooling alloys made of various metals—such as iron, titanium, and copper. They have a noncrystalline or disordered structure—in other words their atoms aren’t arranged in an orderly fashion— as opposed to crystalline metals, which typically have a structure of organized crystals in their solid state.

The randomness of the atoms’ distribution makes metallic glasses a strong and durable material, but a lousy surface coating material.

Apple seemingly has created a way to combine the best of both worlds. According to, Apple’s patent “relates to metals comprising a metal coating on a metal substrate and methods for applying a metal coating onto a metal substrate using micro-alloying.”

Patently Apple says Apple’s patent includes the following verbiage, hinting that this might indicate a method Apple would use in making the back panel of the next version of its iPhone:

“In some embodiments, the metal substrate may be a metallic glass substrate. In some embodiments, a metallic glass coating is deposited on a metallic glass substrate to form a coated metallic glass. Pulsed radiation is applied to the coated metallic glass to form a metallic glass with altered chemical composition.”

The only area of its devices Apple could be referring to is the back side. This is one of numerous patents Apple has filed since the release of the iPhone 7, so loyalists will have to patiently wait for the next generation of iPhones to arrive on the market to see if the rumors are true.

Now—if only they could get started on a patent to prevent those screens from cracking upon impact.