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Apple’s Christmas gifts this year (on top of loads of iPad and iPhone sales) included a few new patents: one covering a method for refining curved displays, and another that covers a new connector for SIM cards.

U.S. patent 8,336,334, “Glass alignment for high temperature processes,” covers a simple method for shaping glass without the need for chemicals or more complex processes. It involves an alignment system during the glass-slumping process that can shape glass around a mold without any interference.

Ultimately, the patent could allow Apple to build curved displays, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S Android phones. The patent doesn’t just cover phones, Apple could also use it for large monitors (and potentially even TVs).

Back in June, we reported on Apple’s triumph over Nokia in the battle for a new Micro-SIM connector. Basically, Nokia wanted a “push-based” design for removing and inserting SIM cards, while Apple was pushing for a SIM card tray. That tray is at the heart of U.S. patent 8,337,223, “Mini-SIM connector.”

From the abstract: “One example may provide a plunger system where a user can push on a plunger rod and eject a SIM card. Another example may provide contacts that are not damaged by improper insertion of a SIM card. Another example may provide a plastic housing, the housing reinforced by a metallic shield and having a relatively uniform thickness.”

Via Patently Apple 1, 2; Photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

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