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Weight challenges could hinder glass iPhones

Apple has filed a patent for products housed entirely in glass, but ensuring a glass gadget's durability and strength could come at the cost of weight.

According to Apple's patent, multiple layers of glass could be fused together in a process that would reinforce a glass device. But ultimately, glass-housed gadgets probably won't compete with devices made of a combination of aluminum, glass, metal and plastic, said technology editor John Simons of the Associated Press.

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"I think one of the challenges ... will be whether Apple can make these layered glass devices and gadgets and still have them be sort of both lightweight and durable," said Simons, who added that he doesn't see the average consumer or business user opting for a glass iPhone over a phone housed in other, lighter materials.

"I can't see the average businessman or businesswoman on the go toting this thing around unless it's covered by a leather or rubber or case," Simons said.

Source: Apple

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Apple's all-glass products could include mobile devices as well as larger home electronics like televisions and computer displays, according to its patent filing.

All-glass televisions, could be more popular among consumers as a luxury item, according to Simons.

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"These patents probably have the greatest application in sort of these living room or home office kind of show-piece devices," Simons said.

—By CNBC's Althea Chang