http://www.digitaljournal.com/technology/iphone-7-may-ditch-the-plastic-antenna-strips/article/436458

iPhone 7 may ditch the plastic antenna strips

Posted Jun 22, 2015 by James Walker
A new patent granted to Apple suggests that it may have solved the issue of the plastic antenna strips on the iPhone 6, making the unsightly bands across the metal chassis a thing of the past on the upcoming iPhone 7 while maintaining signal strength.
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Business Insider reports the patent application was filed on Thursday and details Apple's plans to create a new composite metal material. The metal would look and feel like the current anodized material, but would allow radio waves to pass through the chassis and into the receiver, negating the need for the plastic bands of today.
Apple writes that the "visible break" created by the usage of plastic bands "can detract from the smooth and continuous look of the metallic housing," an issue that could be overcome by the use of its composite material. The iPhone could have an all-metal body and still have good reception quality.
Interestingly, the patent mentions that Apple is also considering using the material on other devices too. It could appear on the touchpads of future MacBooks to give a more "sleek and consistent appearance" as the metal would have a lower capacitance than usual.
The patent does not guarantee that this technology will be coming to Apple devices any time soon but it does show that the company is investigating ways to improve on the design of its products. Reviewers have lauded the iPhone 6's metal chassis but the plastic antenna bands continue to draw attention for their presence on an otherwise wholly metallic device.
If Apple can eradicate the requirement of plastic and create a metal through which radio waves can pass then it could solve one of its major hindrances in progressing the design of its products. Don't count on it yet, but it's possible that the plastic iPhone antenna bands could soon be a thing of the past.