Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is aiming to develop curved shape batteries for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices based on its latest patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, May 2, 2013.
The patent application entitled “Curved Battery Cell for Portable Electronic Devices” was submitted by its inventors namely Ramesh C. Bhardwaj, John Raff, Stephen R. McClure, Eric L. Wang, and Taisup Hwang.
The inventors explained that the curved battery cell is composed of a set of layers including a cathode with an active coating, a separator, and an anode with an active coating. It also includes a flexible pouch enclosing the layers. According to them, the layers may be wound to create a jelly roll before sealing the flexible pouch.
The curved battery will be formed during the manufacturing process as the investors described, “A curve may also be formed in the battery cell by applying a pressure of at least 0.13 kilogram-force (kgf) per square millimeter to the layer using a set of curve plates applying a temperature of about 85.degree.C. to the layers.”
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s objective in developing curved batteries is to be able to efficiently use the small space available in mobile devices wherein the end of a curved battery could be use to insert certain internal components.
The inventors explained, “In some embodiments, the curve is formed to facilitate efficient use of space inside a portable electronic device. For example, the curve may be formed at one or more ends of the battery cell to allow the battery cell to occupy a curved and/or rounded space within the enclosure of a laptop computer, tablet computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), digital camera, portable media player, and/or other type of battery-powered electronic device.”
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also filed another application for “Non-Rectangular Batteries for Portable Electronic Devices.” This type of battery is composed of a set of layers including a cathode with an active coating, an anode with an active coating and a separator. It is also comprised with a first conductive tab attached to the cathode and a second conductive tab joined to the anode.
Similar to the curved battery, the non-rectangular battery is enclosed in a flexible pouch. The inventors described that the first and second conductive tabs of this type of battery are extended through seals in the pouch to provide terminals for the battery cell. According to them, the non-rectangular share will be created by removing material from one or more of the layers.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s investors explained, “For example, material may be removed from a corner of the cathode and/or anode to form a rounded corner in the battery cell.” Their goal is the same, to better use the available space in portable devices.