updated 01:00 pm EST, Sat February 1, 2014
Thinner tray to house SIMs and other small cards
Earlier this week, Apple was awarded a patent from the United States Patent & Trademark Office based on a filing from September 2012. The filing, for "ejectable component assemblies in electronic devices," marks another win for Apple as it moves into different markets -- including the anticipated iWatch that the company has been bolstering its ranks for as of late. The application builds on provisional patent application 61675328, which was filed in July 2012.
In the description of the patent awarded from the USPTO, mention is made that the new, thinner ejectable tray is intended to hold a subscriber identification module (SIM), but other applications are mentioned as well. According to the patent a "removable module" that is placed in the assembly may not only be a SIM card (with mention of mini and micro versions), but also lists memory cards, microprocessor cards, smart cards, integrated circuit cards or any combination of such.
A point of interest in the filing appears in section 23, where the electronic devices that the new assembly may be used in is defined. "Electronic devices may generally be any portable, mobile, hand-held, or miniature electronic device" that a user can use for multimedia applications, such as record videos or play games, as well as make phone calls. It is also worth noting that watches and other wearable electronics are specifically mentioned in the same section as an electronic device that this new assembly can be fashioned to.
The composition of the parts which will make up the assembly, which includes ceramics, plastic, metal and glass, could mean that the new tray design is intended for use in the iWatch. However, it still leaves room for current applications with its similar design to previous trays seen in iPhones made with metal or cost-cutting incentives of plastic production.
The complete information on the patent filing, application 20140029206, can be found at the USPTO website.