updated 03:33 pm EST, Tue February 12, 2013
Allows for antennas to be built into housing
Apple has won the US patent rights to a "microslot" antenna concept, notes AppleInsider. The technology allows for extremely compact antenna designs, including ones built into the housing of electronics. In the filing for the patent, Apple describes "dielectric-filled microslots that are formed in a ground plane element;" the ground plane can be a part of a device's housing, as long as that housing is conductive. The patent also allows for multiple bands, something essential with modern Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Bluetooth and GPS could be supported as well.
Apple's application for the patent dates back to December 2007. Although it primarily focuses on implementing the technology into a notebook, the concept can also be carried over to phones and tablets. Apple may be especially interested in the latter two categories, as the iPhone and the iPad are now so thin that the company has to shrink part size wherever possible.