If one Australian news report is to be believed, Apple has just shot itself in the foot regarding the design particularities of the iPhone 5, by leaking documents pertaining to the handset in a patent filing.
The patent in question was lodged 12 months after the launch of the iPhone 4, according to smarthouse.com.au, which quotes executives from IP Australia as saying "It would be most unusual for any Company to lodge an application for a patent after the launch of a new product. This appears to be for a new product."
The move is tied to the ongoing debacle between Apple and Korea-based electronics vendor Samsung over the design similarities between their portables.
After being filed by lawyers representing Apple Computer Inc the US, the documents appear to be seeking a patent approval in Australia for a device described as a ‘hand held computing device.’
Those who are reportedly privy to the contents of these papers said the patent description mentions a device manufactured from “a single sheet of metal,” according to the report.
The site provides no external sources whatsoever to corroborate this information.
Readers will take these claims for what they are, as single-sheet-of-metal can mean anything from a unibody design (currently employed by a number of Apple products), to a redesigned antenna.
The Australian paper has Apple claiming that their application is for a device that is not only lighter, but also thinner “than previous Apple devices,” which falls in line with recent rumors (quite conveniently, may we add).
Had this story been based on wording only, there would be enough reason to cast doubt on the Australian report.
However, they also mention actual drawings attached to the patent application which, according to the original piece, “indicate an iPhone type device that has a bezel edge.”
That, of course, wouldn’t be too hard to figure out just by glancing on Apple’s existing marketing materials.
Also pretty unfortunate is that they don't actually post the imagery in question.
The report adds that Apple uses the patent application to detail a number of problems (perhaps they meant to say 'difficulties') associated with the manufacturing process of the device.
New iPhone 5 Single-Sheet Metal Design Leaked in Patent Filing - Report