Based on an Apple patent application, it seems that the company is contemplating ways to make gadgets more scratch-resistant and durable with cheap nitride coatings on top of stainless steel exteriors.

The nitride coatings would not only be low-cost, but they would also leave your gadgets looking great:

In addition to providing a durable, hard surface that is both scratch and impact resistant, the nitride layer allows for the natural surface color and texture of the underlying stainless steel to remain visible to the user. It is this natural surface color and texture of the stainless steel that adds to the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the consumer electronic product, thereby enhancing the user's overall experience.


Cheap, good-looking, and durable scratch protection? Lets hope that Apple's focusing on this idea. [Apple Insider via TUAW]