Apple has introduced one new innovative idea: a new speakerphone system for iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Apple aims with this technical patent to offer to iOS devices an “improved performance,” namely a general superior sound.
The patent reveals a speaker that is placed on the backside of the device and that has a horizontal former and a small piston area, occupying little space and offering a more qualitative sound:
“The former extends substantially horizontally outward of a peripheral portion of the sound radiating surface, to a peripheral portion that is separate from the suspension. A coil is coupled to the peripheral portion of the horizontal former. This enables the mounting location of the coil to move further outward, thereby substantially increasing the size or area that is spanned by the coil.”
Smaller speakers should not be also fragile; the patent claims that the former-cone element of the speaker could be designed from a material that is both lightweight and rigid, such as the liquidmetal. Also, the back of the iPhone and iPad must be built from a more protective material. After all, Apple may use liquidmetal instead of glass for its next-generation iPhone.
Source: Patently Apple