Apple could be working on a set of unibody earbuds for its iGadgets.
Unibody meaning an all-in-one set of ‘phones to listen to your music on, as opposed to the traditional solution of piecing together different components - from the jack, to the cable, to the headphones themselves.
The joins between these elements aren't particularly desirable, and the look of contemporary earbuds has evidently ruffled the feathers of Apple designers, who believe a unibody piece with seamless joins would be far more aesthetically pleasing.
The Cupertino company's patent summary states: "Ultrasonically welded structures and methods for manufacturing welded structures are disclosed. The welded structures can be earbuds or headphones."
"According to some embodiments, aesthetically pleasing, seamless non-cable components are disclosed. For example, headphone components are disclosed that appear to have been constructed as a seamless unibody structure."
"Seamless headphones may be ultrasonically welded such that the welding produces an unpolished welded structure. A portion of the unpolished welded structure can be cut to a predetermined size, sanded, polished, and cleaned to provide a seamless polished headphone component."
Note that it seems only the appearance of the headphones will be seamless, when in actual fact they may comprise of two different sections welded together. If the finish can make the headset look like one seamless piece, then it doesn't really matter, of course.
Source: Apple Insider