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(Pocket-lint) - Apple is reportedly working on a new iMac design that looks like a single sheet of glass.

In reality, of course, there would still need to be a bump of some kind on the back due to the components inside, but it is possible that the next iMac could resemble a high-end monitor with little bezel compared to the black-and-aluminium iMac surround we've been used to for the last few years.

A report by Apple Insider cites a new patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an "Electronic Device with Glass Housing" which would see the new iMac be, essentially, structured from glass. One of the application's signatories is Keith J. Hendren, who we know is a product designer for the Apple Mac. 

If it happens, this iMac is more likely to be one at the lower end of the scale in terms of power because of the reduced dimensions. In other words, we think it's unlikely this is the new iMac Pro. 

According to the patent, the new machine would have a curved base to hold up the screen on which you might have peripheral devices like the keyboard and Magic Trackpad (we can't see this working because of the proximity to the display, ourselves). There's also an alternative design with two curved pieces (presumably one of which would be the glass) and then a further piece holding it up. 

Apple Insider/USPTOIs Apples next iMac just a sheet of glass image 2

A wedge-shaped section at the back would provide stability but also could house components and connections for power, data and so on. The patent suggests that that curve/angle of the glass could be changed depending on user preference - could this be an alternative to the Surface Studio line of fold-flat Windows one-box screens? 

One possibility is that this design is, essentially, a screen designed to work with a MacBook rather than being a standalone machine. In that case, it would be more like a monitor and use the MacBook's components and power instead (presumably connected by USB-C and Thunderbolt 3). 

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Writing by Dan Grabham.