In the near(ish) future, could we see an iPhone made entirely of glass? It's certainly a possibility given an Apple patent which has come to light.
The Cupertino company has just filed a patent application for a handheld device which uses a case made entirely from glass, Mashable reports. The device could potentially be fashioned from two pieces of glass bonded together, or from a hollow glass tube.
As Mashable notes, the iPhone isn't too far from this state of affairs anyway. At the moment, the iPhone 4 and 4S are made from two sections of glass, joined with a steel frame.
The advantage of an all-glass iPhone would be the fact that it's hermetically sealed and therefore water resistant, more so than being treated with Liquipel, the water repellent coating which has been rumoured for the iPhone 5. The material would also be radio transparent, Apple notes, so hopefully that would mean improved reception.
Naturally, an all-glass iPhone would look darn cool, too; there's no underestimating the extra zing it would give to an already much-admired gadget.
The major worry would be how tough a glass iPhone would be, but Apple is certainly talking tough enough in the patent application. The company notes: "Some of the reasons for using glass over other materials are that glass is strong, stiff, and radio transparent."
Even if potential breakage and strength isn't an issue, there's also the danger of scratches to contend with. Another point is if the device is hermetically sealed and waterproof, what about the port openings? Although if we are talking the future as in considerably down the line, there may be no need for them, with everything (including charging) possibly moving to wireless technology.
We're getting a little carried away, though, as a patent filing certainly isn't a cast iron guarantee of a cast glass iPhone in a couple of year's time.