Title:
Enclosure for portable electronic device having pivotable panel handle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An enclosure (100) for a portable electronic device includes: a panel (120) having a number of tabs (1231), and defining a lock hole (129) bounded by an inner wall (1291); a housing (150) having a number of tab slots (156) corresponding to the tabs of the panel; and a handle (130) configured to fit in the lock hole. The panel is attached on the housing by the tabs being received in the corresponding tab slots, and the handle is contained in the lock hole and is rotatably connected to the inner wall. Thus the handle can be opened or closed relative to the panel. A user can manually rotate the handle to the open position and then pull up the panel using the handle. There is no need for a special tool, making it convenient to change the panel.



Inventors:
Qin, Shui Yuan (Shenzhen, CN)
Chen, Chia-hua (Tu-chen, TW)
Luo, Xinghuang (Shenzhen, CN)
Chen, Jianwu (Shenzhen, CN)
Application Number:
10/880287
Publication Date:
12/30/2004
Filing Date:
06/28/2004
Assignee:
QIN SHUI YUAN
CHEN CHIA-HUA
LUO XINGHUANG
CHEN JIANWU
Primary Class:
International Classes:
H04M1/02; (IPC1-7): B65D75/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DABNEY, PHYLESHA LARVINIA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEI TE CHUNG (San Jose, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An enclosure for a portable electronic device, comprising: a panel having at least one tab, and defining a lock hole bounded by an inner wall; a housing having at least one tab slot corresponding to said tab of the panel; and a handle configured to fit in the lock hole; wherein the panel is attached on the housing by said tab being received in said tab slot, the handle being contained in the lock hole and being rotatably connected to the inner wall.

2. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 1, wherein a pivot protrudes from a periphery of the handle.

3. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 2, wherein the inner wall defines a pivot slot corresponding to the pivot of the handle.

4. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the pivot of the handle is received in the pivot slot and rotates therein.

5. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the tab extends from a periphery of the panel.

6. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 5, wherein a latch extends from an inner surface of a first end of the panel.

7. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 6, wherein the housing comprises a recessed portion defined by an inner wall.

8. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 7, wherein said tab slot of the panel is defined in the inner wall of the recessed portion.

9. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 8, wherein the recessed portion at an end of the housing defines a latch slot corresponding to the latch of the panel.

10. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 2, wherein a second end of the handle defines a groove, the groove is bounded by an upper wall, two side walls and an end wall, and the side walls and the end wall connect with the upper wall.

11. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 10, wherein a stopping protrusion extends from the end wall of the handle into the groove.

12. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 11, wherein a turning protrusion extends from an inner surface of the handle adjacent to the end wall.

13. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 12, wherein the turning protrusion has a bottom end, and a slant formed adjacent the bottom end.

14. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 13, wherein a ledge extends into the lock hole from a part of the inner wall nearest the first end of the panel.

15. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 14, wherein the ledge is thinner than the first end of the panel.

16. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 15, wherein an inner surface of a first end of the handle defines a cutout corresponding to the ledge of the panel.

17. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the panel defines a recess below and in communication with the lock hole, and the recess occupies an area slightly greater than that occupied by the lock hole.

18. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 17, further comprising a securing plate shaped and sized to fit into the recess.

19. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 18, wherein a turning sheet extends from a middle of an end of the securing plate.

20. The enclosure for a portable electronic device as claimed in claim 19, wherein a cap sheet extends from a side of the end of the securing plate.

21. An enclosure comprising: a housing; a panel detachably attached to the housing and having at least one tab and a pivotal handle at two opposite ends thereof; a housing having at least one tab slot corresponding to said tab of the panel; and a handle configured to fit in the lock hole; wherein the panel is attached on the housing by said tab being received in said tab slot under a condition that the handle is coplanar with a top face of the panel, and said handle is adapted to be rotated to an extending position to detach the panel from the housing.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates in general to enclosures for portable electronic devices, and more specifically to an enclosure having a changeable top panel.

[0003] 2. Prior Art

[0004] Portable electronic devices, such as mobile phones, have become widely accepted around the world. The aesthetic appearance of individual portable electronic devices has become an important requirement of many consumers. Consumers desire different appearances to satisfy their personal tastes and preferences. Thus portable electronic devices with changeable panels are especially popular.

[0005] A conventional enclosure for a communication device with a changeable panel is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,848,152. The communication device includes a housing and a panel. One or more tabs extend from a periphery of the panel, and slots corresponding to the tabs are defined in a periphery of the housing. Referring to FIG. 7, a latch pin 202 extends from an inner surface of the panel, and a latch keeper 204 is defined in a rear of the housing. A first aperture 206 and a second aperture 208 are defined in the latch keeper 204, with the apertures 206, 208 being in communication with each other. When the latch pin 202 is in the first aperture 206, the panel can be released from the housing, and when the latch pin 202 is in the second aperture 208, the panel is attached on the housing. The latch keeper 204 is forcibly slid using a special tool. In assembly, the tabs of the panel are inserted into the slots of the housing, the latch pin 202 is inserted into the first aperture 206 of the latch keeper 204, and then the latch keeper 204 is slid so that the latch pin 202 enters the second aperture 208 and thereby secures the panel on the housing. In disassembly, the latch keeper 204 is slid so that the latch pin 202 enters the first aperture 206, and then the tabs of the panel are disengaged from the slots of the housing. The panel is thus removed from the housing.

[0006] Because the special tool is needed to slide the latch keeper 204 back and forth, it is inconvenient to change the panel.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a portable electronic device having a panel that can be changed easily.

[0008] In one aspect of the present invention, an preferred enclosure for a portable electronic device comprises: a panel having at plurality of tabs, and defining a lock hole bounded by an inner wall; a housing having a plurality of tab slots corresponding to the tabs of the panel; and a handle configured to fit in the lock hole. The panel is attached on the housing by the tabs being received in the corresponding tab slots, and the handle is contained in the lock hole and is rotatably connected to the inner wall. Thus the handle can be opened or closed relative to the panel. A user can manually rotate the handle to the open position and then pull up the panel using the handle. There is no need for a special tool, making it convenient to change the panel.

[0009] Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an enclosure for a mobile phone of the present invention, the enclosure including a panel module attached on a housing, the panel module including a handle at a first end thereof;

[0011] FIG. 2 is an exploded view of FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 3 is an inverted view of FIG. 2;

[0013] FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the handle shown in FIG. 3;

[0014] FIG. 5 is an enlarged, assembled view of part of the first end of the panel module shown in FIG. 3;

[0015] FIG. 6A is a cut-away view taken along line VI-VI of FIG. 1, showing the handle in a closed position;

[0016] FIG. 6B is similar to FIG. 6A, but showing the handle in a partly open position;

[0017] FIG. 6C is similar to FIG. 6B, but showing the handle in a fully open position; and

[0018] FIG. 7 is an isometric view of part of an end of an enclosure for a mobile phone of the prior art, showing a latch pin and a latch keeper thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] A portable electronic device in accordance with the present invention pertains to a mobile phone, a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), and like apparatuses. The present invention will be described as being embodied in a mobile phone as an illustrative example, with reference to the drawings as follows.

[0020] Referring to FIG. 1, an enclosure 100 for a mobile phone includes a panel module 110 and a housing 150.

[0021] Referring to FIGS. 2-3, the panel module 110 includes a panel 120, a handle 130 and a securing plate 140. The handle 130 is rotatably secured to the housing 150 by the securing plate 140. The panel 120 has an outer surface 121, an inner surface 122, a periphery 123, a first end 124, and a second end 125. A plurality of keypad holes 126, a window 127, and a plurality of microphone holes 128 are provided in the panel 120. A plurality of tabs 1231 extends from the periphery 123, and two latches 1221 extend from the inner surface 122 at the second end 125. The panel 120 defines a lock hole 129 at the first end 124. The lock hole 129 is surrounded by an inner wall 1291 of the panel 120. The lock hole 129 is shaped and sized to engagingly receive the handle 130. A ledge 1292 extends into the lock hole 129 from a part of the inner wall 1291 nearest the first end 124. The ledge 1292 is thinner than the panel 120. Two pivot slots 1294 are symmetrically defined in the inner wall 1291 of the lock hole 129. A recess 1293 is defined in the inner surface 122, for containing the securing plate 140. The recess 1293 is below and in communication with the lock hole 129, and occupies an area slightly greater than that occupied by the lock hole 129.

[0022] Referring to FIG. 4, the handle 130 is configured to conform to the lock hole 129, and has an outer surface 131, an inner surface 132 and a periphery 133. Two pivots 136 symmetrically protrude from opposite sides of the periphery 133, corresponding to the pivot slots 1294. A cutout 134 is defined in the inner surface 132 at a first end of the handle 130, corresponding to the ledge 1292. A plurality of slide-proofing ridges 135 is formed on the inner surface 132 of the handle 130 adjacent to the cutout 134. A groove 137 is defined in the inner surface 132 at a second end of the handle 130, the second end being opposite to the first end. The groove 137 is bounded by an upper wall 1371, two opposite side walls 1372, and an end wall 1373. The side walls 1372 and the end wall 1373 connect with the upper wall 1371. A stopping protrusion 1374 extends from the end wall 1327. A turning protrusion 1375 extends from the inner surface 132 adjacent to the end wall 1373. The turning protrusion 1375 has a bottom end 1376, and two slants 1377 formed at respective opposite sides of the bottom end 1376. The bottom end 1376 and the slants 1377 enable the handle 130 to be conveniently turned.

[0023] The securing plate 140 is shaped and sized to fit into the recess 1293. A turning sheet 143 extends from a middle of an end of the securing plate 140. Two cap sheets 144 extend from the same end of the securing plate 140, the cap sheets 144 being at respective opposite sides of the turning sheet 143. The securing plate 140 is made of metallic material, and has good resiliency.

[0024] The housing 150 has a front face 151, a rear face 152, a first end 153, and a second end 154. The front face 151 includes a recessed portion 155. The recessed portion 155 includes an inner wall 1550 of the housing 150, and is for containing the panel 120. A plurality of tab slots 156 is defined in the inner wall 1550, for receiving the tabs 1231 of the panel 120. Two latch slots 157 are defined on the second end 154 of the housing 150, for receiving the latches 1221 of the panel 120. A peripheral wall 158 extends downwardly from the rear face 152, thereby defining a container portion 159. The container portion 159 is for containing a PCB (printed circuit board) and other elements (not shown) of the mobile phone.

[0025] Referring to FIG. 5, in pre-assembly, the handle 130 is secured to the housing 150 by the securing plate 140 as follows. First, the pivots 136 of the handle 130 are inserted into the pivot slots 1294 of the panel 120 from the inner surface 122. The securing plate 140 is fixed to the first end 124 in the recess 1293 using adhesive. The turning sheet 143 abuts the bottom end 1376 of the turning protrusion 1375, and the cap sheets 144 cover the pivot slots 1294 of the inner wall 1291 of the lock hole 129. Thus the handle 130 is attached on the housing 150 by the securing plate 140. The handle 130 can open and close relative to the face panel 120 by the pivots 136 rotating in the pivot slots 1294.

[0026] Referring also to FIGS. 6A-6C, in-assembly, the latches 1221 of the panel 120 are firstly inserted into the latch slots 157 of the housing 150. The panel 120 is pressed downwardly onto the housing 150 until the tabs 1231 are received in the tab slots 156. If the handle 130 is open relative the housing 150, it is necessary for the user to press the handle 130 down to a closed position. In such case, the first end of the handle 130 is pressed, the pivots 136 of the handle 130 rotate in the pivot slots 1294 of the panel 120, and the turning protrusion 1375 rides over the turning sheet 143 until the handle 130 is received in the lock hole 129 of the panel 120. Thus the panel 120 is attached on the housing 150.

[0027] In disassembly, the second end of the handle 130 is pressed as shown by arrow F in FIG. 6A, the pivots 136 of the handle 130 rotate in the pivot slots 1294 of the panel 120, and the turning protrusion 1375 rides over the turning sheet 143 until the stopping protrusion 1374 abuts the turning sheet 143 and thereby stops the handle 130 in the open position. The user can then pull up the handle 130 until the tabs 1231 of the panel 120 are disengaged from the tab slots 156 of the housing 150, and the latches 1231 of the panel 120 are disengaged from the latch slots 157 of the housing 150. Thus the panel 120 is detached from the housing 150.

[0028] It is to be noted that the detailed description provided above should be considered as exemplary of the invention, and not restrictive of the invention as claimed hereinafter.