Apple has patented a new way to create all-glass housings for electronic devices. The filing goes over a way to fuse together pieces of glass that could be used for iOS gadgets as well as TV and display devices.

While there appears to be a few immediate issues that come to mind with a glass case, like how well it can handle being dropped even mildly, the patent covers a design that is apparently both light and durable. It outlines a particular method of fusing various pieces of glass together at specific points, as well as the use of support ribs to maintain light weight and structural integrity.

The back surface of devices housed with the glass composite could have a slightly translucent tinted look to them or have a completely opaque back to hide the internals, according to the patent. The option to have the back be entirely see through is left open as well.

While the patented material at hand, which credits Apple's SVP Jony Ive as one of the inventors, may never see the light of day, something like this could separate Apple even further from the competition in both the smartphone and display markets. Apple has been moving away from glass-backed devices since iPhone 4, so this could likely be something the company is just keeping in its patent portfolio for legal reasons.

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