Print 24 comment(s) - last by chick0n.. on Dec 27 at 3:37 PM

Logo antenna diagram  (Source: Patently Apple)
Antennas will be used on more than the iPhone

Apple caught a lot of heat soon after the iPhone 4 launched due to issues surrounding the devices's antenna. The problems infuriated so many iPhone 4 users that Steve Jobs even suggested they were “holding it wrong”. While the antenna woes of the iPhone 4 are legendary at this point, Apple is working on a new tech for future mobile devices.

Patently Apple has dug up a patent application that outlines how the company plans to incorporate the antenna for some of its devices behind the Apple logo. That would move the antenna closer to the surface of the devices. Presumably that would help with the problem the iPhone 4 faced. While the iPad currently uses a similar placement for its Wi-Fi antenna, Apple's new design would incorporate cellular and GPS antennas as well.

The new antenna design is aimed for use in more than just the iPhone; it will also be used on MacBooks as well. 
Patently Apple reports that the new antenna may transmit and receive radio-frequency signals through a dielectric window mounted in a housing wall. The antenna could also reportedly have a patch antenna resonating element inside.

The patent in question is 20100321253 and it was filed in June of 2009 and lists Apple employees Ruben Caballero - Senior director of iPhone/iPod - and members of his team including Enrique Ayala Vazquez, Gregory Springer, Bing Chiang, Douglas Kough, Robert Schlub, Yi Jiang, Angulo Gomez and Andres Rodney.

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Yet another research fail
By DanNeely on 12/24/2010 3:16:52 PM , Rating: 5
"That would move the antenna closer to the surface of the devices. Presumably that would help with the problem the iPhone 4 faced."

THe iPhone4's problem was that the antennas were *ON* the surface, which allowed the user to short them out with their hands. Moving them back to the interior will prevent this from being possible. Also, it's not a new thing for Apple either (unless the "innovation" in question is the phrase "... in a cell phone..."; they installed antennas behind a plastic logo in several desktop (and laptop?) models a few years back since it was the only RF window in the aluminum unibody.

RE: Yet another research fail
By ChoadNamath on 12/24/2010 5:33:08 PM , Rating: 5
Thank you. It would be nice if tech blog writers would spend a little more time trying to understand the issues they write about and a little less time simply paraphrasing articles and press releases from other sources.

RE: Yet another research fail
By borismkv on 12/26/2010 10:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
But that would be too much like (*shiver*) work!

RE: Yet another research fail
By sigmatau on 12/24/2010 8:13:05 PM , Rating: 5
"That would move the antenna closer to the surface of the devices. Presumably that would help with the problem the iPhone 4 faced."

"Faced?" You mean "the problem the iPhone 4 currently faces, was brought to light, and Apple decided to do absolutely nothing to fix the hardware issue except offer a stop-gap (cover) and to then go on and not finish the job.

RE: Yet another research fail
By dj LiTh on 12/24/2010 11:06:41 PM , Rating: 5
No no! Dont tell me how it works! Its magical! Its Magical! <rocks back in forth in corner chanting "its magical">

/sarcasm off

Load of crap
By 2bdetermine on 12/24/2010 3:38:58 PM , Rating: 3
Star trek came up with the idea long before they ever dreamed up:-)

RE: Load of crap
By priusone on 12/24/2010 5:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but did they patent it? Sucks to be them then.

RE: Load of crap
By 2bdetermine on 12/24/2010 6:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
They didn't patent it because money, greed does not exist.

RE: Load of crap
By GulWestfale on 12/24/2010 7:34:16 PM , Rating: 2
apple needs more than half a dozen "engineers" to patent the location of a cell phone antenna? why can something as obvious (and let's face it, trivial) even be patented?

RE: Load of crap
By mcnabney on 12/24/2010 11:59:46 PM , Rating: 5
The patent is worthless. Prior-art exists, which invalidates the patent. Too bad the patent office doesn't bother to do their job.

RE: Load of crap
By muhahaaha on 12/25/2010 10:26:30 PM , Rating: 3
Apple tries to patent everything, even if it's prior art, because it gives them a way to bully other companies.

The Patent office approves it erroneously (or maybe with a little under the table payola from Apple), and the only choice for others is to litigate. And Apple has some of the best lawyers, so most smaller companies don't have the resources to put up a fight.

Typical Apple. That's why I will never buy one of their overpriced toys.

RE: Load of crap
By chick0n on 12/27/2010 3:37:43 PM , Rating: 1
You're thinking it wrong.

funny shit was Apple was trying to sue Texwood for using the Apple logo. Texwood's respond was when we start using that logo Apple(the computer company aka moron's dream) does not even exist. the suit was dropped, fast.

Guess their lawyers weren't that smart afterall.

How is this patentable
By HoosierEngineer5 on 12/25/2010 11:05:54 AM , Rating: 3
Radomes are not a new idea.
Putting antennas behind them is not new.
Painting them is not new.
Multiband antennas are not new.
Patch antennas are not new.
Putting all this together is not new.

How is this even worth a story? Certainly not patentable...

RE: How is this patentable
By chick0n on 12/25/2010 12:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
it does not matter, as long as its from Apple aka the most magical, revolutionary company, the fags inside the patent office just gonna throw all their common sense away, if they even have any in the first place.

RE: How is this patentable
By mkrech on 12/27/2010 12:36:59 PM , Rating: 3

By DKantUno on 12/24/2010 4:13:05 PM , Rating: 4
Why exactly is this idea supposed to be protected by a patent? What is so awesomely innovative about putting your antenna...just about anywhere in the device? And even if it was 'unique' in some way...a patent on antenna placement?

RE: What?
By Solandri on 12/25/2010 2:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
Reading through the linked article, it's basically just putting the antenna behind a non-conductive window (which can be used as a logo) on a metal chassis. Hardly patent-worthy, and I seriously doubt it would stand up in court.

That said, it addresses a problem faced predominantly by Apple and nobody else. Apple's products prioritize artistic design over engineering. When they decided to make the laptop metal, they said "we should make the whole outside of the case completely metal because it'll look/feel cool" oblivious to the protests from their engineering department that doing so encases their WiFi antenna in a faraday cage. Other companies just made the parts which needed the most strength out of metal (mine uses a metal keyboard bezel to give it stiffness, and a metal plate behind the LCD to protect it) and don't have this problem.

This is not news
By mfed3 on 12/24/2010 3:25:35 PM , Rating: 3
This is not news. Please stop spamming everyone's google reader with useless patents about apple that literally zero people would ever care about

RE: This is not news
By SunAngel on 12/24/10, Rating: 0
Apple patent's everything
By AssBall on 12/25/2010 10:28:37 AM , Rating: 3
Why the hell does something this random and non-intuitive require patenting? IS SOMEONE ELSE GOING TO HIDE AN ANTENNA IN APPLE'S LOGO?

Our patent system sucks.

And if you're touching the logo?
By shabby on 12/24/2010 3:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe apple could send a small 50,000 volt jolt of electricity to let the user know you're holding it wrong again.

By bernardl on 12/26/2010 9:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
Many other companies have been doing this for years.


By quiksilvr on 12/24/2010 3:02:29 PM , Rating: 1
But its Christmas time so I won't.

Save your money Apple
By Chaser on 12/24/2010 3:48:44 PM , Rating: 1
Don't worry Steve. All those texting teenagers and wannabe technocrats will buy it and love it working antennas or not.

Keep working on making both the phone and that wonderful iTunes even more controlling and "intuitive" for all those seeking the ultimate in the "Fischer Price" smart phone experience.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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