Last week, Apple patented one of the most unique-looking device ideas yet: an iPhone that’s fully encased in glass. The detailed concept features six display areas; essentially, it can display imagery on each one of its six flat surfaces.
The oddity, whose patent was already approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, has been dubbed an “Electronic device with glass enclosure” by Apple.
By all intents and purposes, the sketches show the “device” to be some iteration of an iPhone, displaying an array of apps along with the status icons overtop. The pictures also show instances where the display is able to wrap around the iPhone, giving the illusion of a seamless infinite display across the whole device, rather than clear-cut surfaces.
Apple has even presented some ideas of how the glass iPhone could be both assembled and disassembled for repair. The handset would potentially be taken apart by removing a so-called “cap” (as it’s labeled in the patent) off the top or bottom of the iPhone, allowing the device components to slide out.
It’s certainly difficult to imagine holding an iPhone made entirely out of glass. Even if the massive logistical challenges of component placement and repair could be bypassed, there remain plenty of reasons why such a phone would be extremely difficult to bring into the mainstream.
Another concern would be the weight, as all-around glass would be decidedly heavier than aluminum, further increasing the likelihood for the device to be dropped.