Is Apple venturing into the world of vaping? Are they developing a mod? Those were the questions Applephiles were asking when a recent Apple patent for a “sublimator/vaporizer” was discovered last week by tech reporters.

“Apple has been granted a new patent to develop a hi-tech vaporizer,” wrote MacWorld. “The patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes an “apparatus” that uses proprietary Apple technology to create a consistent vaporization rate, meaning more liquid is vaporized and not as much is lost to cooling.”

Leafly explained that the patent “suggests the Cupertino, Calif.-based company could be considering entering the vape market. At the very least, we now know they’re paying their R&D department to come up with new designs….There’s no iVape yet, but it’s a sign the global tech giant is interested in the booming sector.”

Baran Dilaver, an executive from Firefly Vapor — maker of a high-tech dry herb device sometimes called “the iPhone of vaporizers” — seemed excited. “It confirms our vision about innovating in the vaporization space,” he said in a statement. “However, I don’t think that this patent is intended for our segment specifically based on my reading of the application.”

Read that last line carefully. Looking at the patent, it’s not at all clear that this technology is intended for a vaping or heat-not-burn product. Despite all the excitement, no one really knows what the patented tech will actually do. Well, maybe no one knows.

The buzzkills at MacRumors threw cold water on the celebrations. “The patent instead relates to a semiconductor device fabrication process Apple uses to create chips for its devices,” they wrote. “The application describes a canister that can be used to vaporize or sublimate a substance, which in Apple’s case would be for delivering substances to a substrate during the deposition or etching process.

“The patent’s assigned inventor Tetsuya Ishikawa, a senior manager at Apple in the nanotechnology field, lists photolithography as one of his skills on his LinkedIn profile. He also holds several other patents related to semiconductor fabrication. So, in the end, it is pretty safe to say, no, Apple is not working on a vape.”

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Meanwhile, Apple really is eliminating vaping- and nicotine-related apps from its App Store. Which doesn’t seem very friendly for a future vape industry leader.

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