The patents cover a method for making sapphire glass display covers stronger, a way to create illuminated buttons with sapphire, and a way to embed markings below a sapphire layer. The first of these patents is perhaps the most interesting considering we recently saw a video of an alleged iPhone 6 panel that withstood rough treatment, including being stabbed, without breaking.
Apple already uses sapphire for the iPhone 5s’ home button, but other physical buttons could soon get the same treatment. Not only that, but these buttons could illuminate when required as per the patent filing.
Finally, Apple also has a patent for embedding markings within Sapphire, making it highly legible but also not prone to wear from elements or repeated use. This would be particularly useful for text or logos, for example.
It’s an intriguing trio of patents which lend weight to some of the rumours we’ve heard about Apple’s future plans already. Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 6 and iWatch later this year.