Apple could be considering not just a return to glass-backed iPhones, but even replacing the aluminum backs of iMacs and monitors with glass at some stage, reveals a newly-granted patent published today. One of the illustrations appears to show an iMac-style device, while others show something looking like an iPhone (below) … 

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A return to glass-backed iPhones, anyone?

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As Patently Apple notes, it’s unusual to see Jony Ive listed as one of the inventors of a patent that extends beyond pure design, though this one is clearly heavily design-oriented.

The usual caveat of course applies: Apple patents a huge number of things that never make it into products, and this patent could describe nothing more than a more efficient way of making existing iMacs. The patent includes “a peripheral glass member that extends around at least some peripheral edge portions” (similar to existing iMacs and Thunderbolt Displays) as well as the alternative shown above, where glass is used for the entire housing.

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