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Apple's next iPhone predicted to have redesigned 'sleek' unibody case - Page 2

post #41 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury99 View Post

There is a big demand for at least two phone form factors: the current 3.5" and larger 4"-4.5"

I don't think so. The iPhone 3GS outsold every single large screen android phone in 2011. If large screens were so desirable that would not happen.
post #42 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyzlmt View Post

And if in some crazy way the new iPhone does not have true 4G LTE, knock several hundred out of the stock estimates.

It's a given that this won't be happening, so why bring it up at all?
post #43 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I'm pretty sure this is incorrect. I think you are confusing two separate things. .

Maybe. I did some more digging and found this...

"Apple may be planning to use Liquidmetal for a new iPhone antenna, says the co-inventor of the sci-fi metal alloy, Dr. Atakan Peker."

"The alloy case could be structural as well as functional. In other words, a Liquidmetal case could also function as a big antenna. And because different mixtures of metal can produce alloys with different characteristics, Apple could blend an alloy that is optimized for receiving radio signals."

"You can build casings with functional characteristics, and the alloys properties as an antenna can be optimized, Peker said."

So they could make a unibody style case, with the antennas built (so to speak) into the case.

Regardless, Apple did buy the exclusive rights to use Liquidmetal in mobil devices, so they must be planning to do something with it...
post #44 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

New form factor, or new material? Remember all the excitement over Apple gaining an exclusive license to use Liquidmetal alloys in electronic products? And the claim that they're radio transparent?

I personally expect LiquidMetal to be used in the next iPhone, but not in the way most would imagine. I believe instead of the entire casing, LiquidMetal will be used to form an impermeable seal, making the next iPhone waterproof, or at least highly water-resistant
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post #45 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Tim Cook: "Hey, Dan, it's Tim. I have Ivan on conference here. I wanted to let you guys know that when your customers come into your stores and ask you to unlock their phones, you're going to do it from now on. Okay? Thanks, guys!"

Done.

It's quite apparent you have no understanding how CDMA actually works. You can't just unlock CDMA basebands. It does not work like a SIM, at all. It's not some lazy management decision it's a technical specification. Thanks for the good laugh though.
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post #46 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


Likely any new form will follow function

Agreed. If Apple makes a bigger screen iPhone they will have a good reason for it beyond just following the competition's design trends.

And I don't think the next iPhone will rehash the 4S design. It will look different.

The A5X on a smaller, lower resolution screen would be disgustingly powerful as well. Running the same core hardware as the new iPad makes sense for many good reasons.
post #47 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

This is just idiotic. The reason to upgrade is the new features, not the "sleek new look". I expect the 6th gen iPhone to have the same case and look and the 4th and 5th gen iPhones.

May be true, but 'sleek new look' is a feature in its own right. Just pack these
'new features" that is spoken of in the same iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S case design for a THIRD time and see what happens! Your argument won't pass muster... Heck just Google iPhone 4S reviews and case complaints and see what you get.
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post #48 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

You can't just unlock CDMA base bands.

So how have people been doing it, then?
post #49 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury99 View Post

No, its the New iPhone (fall 2012) with LTE technology

I might wait for the iPhone New-S

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post #50 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The patent did not have anything to do with LiquidMetal. It was a process for forming the structural enclosures of cell phones using ceramics and also the use of Y2O3 stabilized zirconia which is not LM. That is the same compound used in jewelry.

Apple's patent was the use of zirconia - a ceramic material which is radio transparent.

That's quite different from zirconium - a metal that is a component of some Liquidmetal alloys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I guess I am missing that. I read that LM was an alloy of ZrTi. Can you point to some links of other alloys of LM besides Titanium?

http://www.liquidmetal.com/
'alloys' (plural)


For the others asking about magnetic behavior, the main production alloy is Zr/Ti and is nonmagnetic:
http://www.liquidmetal.com/faqs/

Not all Liquidmetal alloys would be non-magnetic - and it is not clear that even the Zr/Ti alloy would be radio transparent.
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post #51 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] "In our view, this will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case," White wrote. [...]

Things I'm expecting in the "new iPhone":

- Metal back
- Narrower bezel (with 3.7" to 3.9" screen size)
- Possible minor decrease in thickness
- Possible minor change to overall dimensions

Things I want but am not expecting this year:

- MagSafe dock connector (for easier connecting/disconnecting)
- LiquidMetal back (for scratch-proofness)
- Wireless earbuds
- Optical zoom on rear-facing camera

Things I want that might never happen:

- Inductive charging

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post #52 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Apple's patent was the use of zirconia - a ceramic material which is radio transparent. [...]

I think zirconium dioxide casings would be pretty cool for iPhone, iPod touch, and maybe even iPad and MacBook Air. But I suspect that recycling could be a major pain, if it's even possible at all with that material. That's why I don't think Apple will be using carbon fiber extensively. Not sure that it can be recycled efficiently enough. \

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post #53 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post

I don't think so. The iPhone 3GS outsold every single large screen android phone in 2011. If large screens were so desirable that would not happen.

2011 phone sales (millions)
iOS 93
Android 237

86% of Android phones are 4" or larger. So large Android phones outsold small Android and iOS phones combined close to 2:1.

Apple is missing huge opportunity. Apple would probably sell twice more phones if a large screen iPhone model would be available.

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post #54 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So how have people been doing it, then?

Define doing it. Name a CDMA phone ever that's carrier or OEM supported to flash between carriers. MetroPCS had MetroFlash for a time and even that had serious caveats, otherwise none exist. There's no real standard method of doing it and there is nothing to unlock. The most you can do is attempt to hardwire flash a different carrier firmware to it with varying degrees of success and then find someone who's willing to add that IMEI to the network and hope daily it doesn't get flagged and banned. The only successes are typically smaller carriers and people who do end up with a myriad of problems with MMS not working, data drops, or just bricked phones as a result of a bad flash. That sound like something Apple is going to jump into to satisfy your dream?

Your original point about one phone doesn't make sense anyway as each carrier still have their own SIMs, so what would it ship with, none? When's the subsidy applied? You expect people to pay $6/700 through Apple? It's just not going to happen.
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post #55 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I'm pretty sure this is incorrect. I think you are confusing two separate things.

Apple has two exclusive world-wide materials use licences (no one else but they can use said material in a mobile device), one is the zirconia stuff, the other is the liquid metal.

Liquid metal is a metalic glass composite and is not radio transparent in that it's mostly metal with small amounts of other materials.

Zirconia is the advanced ceramic with properties very close to something like gorilla glass and *is* radio transparent like all glasses and most ceramics.

As pointed out above, it's not quite that simple because there are different alloys.

Their most common alloy is listed as non-magnetic and a relatively poor conductor. No mention is made of radio transparency. There have been many reports that some liquidmetal alloys are radio transparent - and that may even be true - but I haven't seen any evidence from LQMT or anyone who really knows.
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post #56 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Likely any new form will follow function.

That is an over simplification. There are criteria that really don't come under the umbrella of function, but are traditionally of vital importance to Apple. You could argue that if the declared function of a shape and weight is to be loved and coveted, the form indeed follows function - but that's not what's usually meant by the term. If the the new iPhone has a curved back, I am not sure you could argue the form followed function.
post #57 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

"In our view, this will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case," White wrote. "This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade."

This is just idiotic. The reason to upgrade is the new features, not the "sleek new look". I expect the 6th gen iPhone to have the same case and look and the 4th and 5th gen iPhones.

I disagree - people love new functions such as Siri but 'the look' is the reason most people up-grade. Without 'the look' cars would probably look today like the looked in the 70's . Sure, the drag coefficient is less with improved design but that is only one factor. suspension, weight, engine design etc are equally important.

Design is not an absolute exercise. Yesterdays 'perfect' design can look old fashioned today for no real technical reason. Good design also 'suggests' function, so a sleek modern design suggests modern features in spite of those features in no way being dependent on the sleek 'look'.

My first powerbook was the latest and greatest in shit hot design and function. It still would be a fantastic machine with mostly interior updates - but its looks belong in a museum.
post #58 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

It's quite apparent you have no understanding how CDMA actually works. You can't just unlock CDMA basebands. It does not work like a SIM, at all. It's not some lazy management decision it's a technical specification. Thanks for the good laugh though.

of course CDMA can't be unlocked via sim - thats true - but many of us took Sprint phones in the past - and via only s/w hacking made them work on Verizon - it was years before Verizon bothered with the TREO. a CDMA (Verizon) iPhone can be unlocked to work on other CDMA systems via software only - thats unlocking just the same
post #59 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

"In our view, this will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case," White wrote. "This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade."

This is just idiotic. The reason to upgrade is the new features, not the "sleek new look". I expect the 6th gen iPhone to have the same case and look and the 4th and 5th gen iPhones.


Sometimes people get bored. So even though a new case might not effect performance, people like different things. I for one would welcome the 4 inch screen.
post #60 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post

I don't think so. The iPhone 3GS outsold every single large screen android phone in 2011. If large screens were so desirable that would not happen.

It is possible for people to desire larger screens, but not so much so that they are willing to sacrifice all the other benefits the iPhone offers. I want the screen size to increase if Apple can do it without increasing the over all footprint of the phone by very much. This doesn't mean that if I needed a new phone I would go with a non-Apple solution just because I would prefer a larger screen.
post #61 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

As pointed out above, it's not quite that simple because there are different alloys.

Their most common alloy is listed as non-magnetic and a relatively poor conductor. No mention is made of radio transparency. There have been many reports that some liquidmetal alloys are radio transparent - and that may even be true - but I haven't seen any evidence from LQMT or anyone who really knows.

I was trying to simplify.

Of course there are variations, but "Liquid Metal" is basically a type of metal alloy with trace amounts of other substances. It isn't radio transparent as a category and likely won't ever be because it's primarily metal.

The other stuff is primarily crystalline/ceramic with small amounts of other stuff and therefore *is* radio transparent.

It would be cool indeed to blend the properties of these two together to make a new material for the back, or to make a back out of both materials bonded together in interesting ways, but to me it seems unlikely. Apple is not a materials research company per se and I think a lot of folks hopes for these materials (mine included) fall into the realm of science fiction more than science fact.

It seems far more likely to me that the next phone, while smaller or larger, or perhaps having a different shape, will almost certainly continue the same basic design. This means that the antennas will still be on the outside in an annular ring as on the current iPhone, and that the front will be some kind of glass panel just like the current iPhone. The back can be anything you want in such a design as it doesn't matter as long as the antennas are on the outside.

My initial disagreement was with the tired old "unibody" theory, which makes no sense as it requires moving the antennas back inside the case and yet the case is now aluminium so it has to be pierced by windows for it to even work. Barring some completely new antenna design that we don't know about yet, a unibody iPhone makes no sense at all.
post #62 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

As pointed out above, it's not quite that simple because there are different alloys.

Their most common alloy is listed as non-magnetic and a relatively poor conductor. No mention is made of radio transparency. There have been many reports that some liquidmetal alloys are radio transparent - and that may even be true - but I haven't seen any evidence from LQMT or anyone who really knows.

I think the word alloy(s) is in reference to various ratios of the same two elements ZrTi not other completely unrelated metals. Your previous remarks that there were alloys of Platinum and Aluminum seem to me to be unfounded as I was not able to find any reference on the Internet either.

The other comment from the original co-founder, who by the way is no longer with the company, that LM could be suitable for an antenna combined with a structural frame seems to indicate that there may be a more conductive version but an argument being made by some for the entire back of the device to be constructed from LM is probably not one of the possible configurations being considered by Apple.

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post #63 of 96
Anybody notice from the photo that the mute switch is on the same side as the camera? Never on an iPhone has that been the case.
Thoughts?
post #64 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I think the word alloy(s) is in reference to various ratios of the same two elements ZrTi not other completely unrelated metals. Your previous remarks that there were alloys of Platinum and Aluminum seem to me to be unfounded as I was not able to find any reference on the Internet either.

It's really not that hard to search. My first attempt used the keywords 'alloy liquidmetal platinum'. The fourth hit was:

http://phys.org/news200753236.html
"Some Liquidmetal alloys contain large amounts of platinum, which costs $1,500 an ounce."
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post #65 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post

*couldn't* care less.
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post #66 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury99 View Post

2011 phone sales (millions)
iOS 93
Android 237

86% of Android phones are 4" or larger. So large Android phones outsold small Android and iOS phones combined close to 2:1.

Apple is missing huge opportunity. Apple would probably sell twice more phones if a large screen iPhone model would be available.

2011 phone sales (millions)
Premium quality iPhones = 93
Cheap garbage Android phones = 198

Apple is missing a huge opportunity. Apple would probably sell ten times as many phones if a cheap plastic disposable model with a more-than-one-year-old laggy OS that will never be upgraded, lacking customer support but with ads and bloatware was available.
post #67 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Liquidmetal is made primarily from zirconia. It's basically a metalized glass. And Apple released a patent a while back talking about it...

"In the August 7, 2006 filing, published Thursday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the iPod maker said zirconia -- often used to replicate diamonds for costume jewelry -- offers advantages over other materials, such as aluminum, in that it is structurally strong, stiff and radio transparent. "

I did some research and, apparently, you can create "liquid metal" transparent "glass" that is optically neutral.

If that's possible, they could use transparent LM for the front and opaque LM for the back and edges.

CZ is almost as hard and wear-resistant as a diamond... so, coupled with optical and radio properties -- there are some interesting possibilities.

And, maybe... no need for a case
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post #68 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziadjk View Post

Anybody notice from the photo that the mute switch is on the same side as the camera? Never on an iPhone has that been the case.
Thoughts?

The story on this is that a big screen, super thin Apple iPhone prototype slipped out of one Apple's suppliers and made it into the hands of case manufacturers. This was last year during the run up to the 2011 iPhone. It was going to have ~4.4" screen, lozenge shaped home button, vertically off-centered screen, slightly tear-dropped profile and super-thin (iPod touch thin).

Obviously didn't happen. So maybe it was a intentional leak from Apple to burn case suppliers or it was just a prototype. There were a ton of these cases floating around last year.
post #69 of 96
Brian J. White: Putting the "anal" back in analyst. Let's face it: he had no special access to the deep dark recesses of Jony Ive's design lab. Its BLIND SPECULATION, fueled by hope and wishes. If he really wants to catch a 6th Gen iPhone in the wild, he needs to hang out at bars in Cupertino.

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post #70 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Actually, I think the demand is for an iPhone sized phone, not so much the screen size. If it were possible to make the screen 4" rather than 3.5" without changing the phone size by reducing the size of the borders, I think a lot of people would be happy with a larger screen.

I think Apple would gain more people than it would lose by having a larger screen, regardless if it increased the size of the phone a tad or not.
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post #71 of 96
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post #72 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post

I don't think so. The iPhone 3GS outsold every single large screen android phone in 2011. If large screens were so desirable that would not happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury99 View Post

2011 phone sales (millions)
iOS 93
Android 237

86% of Android phones are 4" or larger. So large Android phones outsold small Android and iOS phones combined close to 2:1.

Apple is missing huge opportunity. Apple would probably sell twice more phones if a large screen iPhone model would be available.

I think the OP meant that there isn't a hardware manufacturer out there making more phones with a >3.5" screen than Apple. You seem to count software sales (iOS/Android)

Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

You expect people to pay $6/700 through Apple? It's just not going to happen.

Already happening around me. Possibly because people found out they are paying more if it's subsidized, while if you do the math you are paying less buying it straight from the Apple store. That WILL differ though from country to country, or better, from telco to telco.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Sometimes people get bored. So even though a new case might not effect performance, people like different things. I for one would welcome the 4 inch screen.

I wouldn't know from reading about a 4" screen online, but will know when I feel the phone in my hand. Personally I don't want a 4" screen, or more precisely, don't want a physical larger phone. I certainly hope they won't drop the 3.5" model we have now. Add a larger screen to their lineup, fine.
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post #73 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Already happening around me. Possibly because people found out they are paying more if it's subsidized, while if you do the math you are paying less buying it straight from the Apple store. That WILL differ though from country to country, or better, from telco to telco.

That's me. I've been using AT&T for years, but when my contract expires in June, I'm going to switch my numbers to Straight Talk - and they buy an unlocked iPhone 4S (or maybe continue using my iPhone 4 until the fall to see what the new one looks like).

Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I think Apple would gain more people than it would lose by having a larger screen, regardless if it increased the size of the phone a tad or not.

Maybe if the increase it 'a tad' - but only because there are few competitive phones that are the size of the current iPhone. If the increase it much, I'll believe they will start losing customers (and they apparently agree).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I did some research and, apparently, you can create "liquid metal" transparent "glass" that is optically neutral.

It's far too early in the development of such products for them to be useful for a case. The existing products are far too soft, among other things. They could use a transparent ceramic, but it's not clear how much advantage it would offer over gorilla glass. A bit more scratch resistant, but more brittle.
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post #74 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's me. I've been using AT&T for years, but when my contract expires in June, I'm going to switch my numbers to Straight Talk - and they buy an unlocked iPhone 4S (or maybe continue using my iPhone 4 until the fall to see what the new one looks like).

Will you be able to have your number ported from telco to telco? We have that ability in The Netherlands, Dutch law even requires from the telco to move the subscription number over within 15 days.

Me, I move from telco to telco every 2 years. Or used to. Over here, KPN doesn't support VisualVoicemail and their 3G is spotty in the areas where I am, daily. Top it off with their 12,50 a month for 500MB data cap and I'll be moving back to T-Mobile network, sans contract. For some strange reason their 3G coverage is better. And they have VV, which I simply love.
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post #75 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziadjk View Post

Anybody notice from the photo that the mute switch is on the same side as the camera? Never on an iPhone has that been the case.
Thoughts?

I'm thinking that it is not the mute switch, but a new button specifically to activate siri; no need to go through the home button or unlock the screen, just instant siri commands. I think that would be a huge deal; if it happens it might even be the most common way to initiate an interaction with the phone, very convenient. That, and a magsafe connector are the two features I'm most hoping for in the 'new' iPhone, along with the outside chance of that "sleek" LM casing.
post #76 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

A unibody iPhone requires the elimination of the current antenna. You know, the really good one that's the best in the industry right now that works so well? Why would they do that?

Until someone explains to me why Apple would drop their industry leading antenna design in favour of the same internal antennas as Samsung and all the rest, a unibody design is simply not likely. Aluminium makes a bad antenna and internal antennas take up more space and get worse reception than the external one now in use.

I'd expect to see a curvy back on the new iPhone, it might even be made of aluminium, but a unibody design doesn't make a lot of sense unless there is some amazing new factor we just don't know about driving the design.

The new factor may be one that only you don't know about: Two words Liquid Metal. (1) Conducts radio signals like glass. (2) Thinner and lighter than metal, but stronger; less likely to transfer impact to glass touch screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I figure they'll change the case to something I'll hate, but it also won't matter because they'll make the screen bigger and I'll never buy an iPhone thereafter anyway.

To your mind larger screen means larger case. That's not necessarily true. Larger screen could mean thinner or no bezel. You gotta start thinking outside the brain.
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post #77 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

2011 phone sales (millions)
Premium quality iPhones = 93
Cheap garbage Android phones = 198

Apple is missing a huge opportunity. Apple would probably sell ten times as many phones if a cheap plastic disposable model with a more-than-one-year-old laggy OS that will never be upgraded, lacking customer support but with ads and bloatware was available.

The 93 mil. of "premium quality" iPhones include dated iPhones 3GS and iPhones 4 with the "premium quality" antenna problem.

I hope you realize that even the most current iPhone is not made of gold either, just the same plastic and glass. The glass is very fragile though - not Gorilla glass found in other premium phones. Dated LCD technology, no AMOLED, screen size is smaller then credit card, still 512 of RAM, no NFC, no removable storage, no removable battery. It took Apple 2 years longer to give ifans dual core, 8mpx camera, multitasking, voice command (siri) and notifications.

Customer service and support? It took Apple 18 month to fix the antenna problem. Just go get a "premium quality" bumper

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post #78 of 96
NOOOOooooo. Keep the iPhone 4 design, but just make it thinner. If it morphs back to the curve design, then everyone's case would look the same. With the iPhone 4, people have a choice between a bumper or full body. Right now, I love how my Vapor Pro bumper looks and I wouldn't want to change it
post #79 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury99 View Post

I hope you realize that even the most current iPhone is not made of gold either, just the same plastic and glass. The glass is very fragile though - not Gorilla glass found in other premium phones. Dated LCD technology, no AMOLED, screen size is smaller then credit card, still 512 of RAM, no NFC, no removable storage, no removable battery. It took Apple 2 years longer to give ifans dual core, 8mpx camera, multitasking, voice command (siri) and notifications.

I get extremely bored when people still complain about specs. In the end what matters to consumer is the value they get from a great user experience, not from hardware specs. Zzz...
post #80 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira4u View Post

I get extremely bored when people still complain about specs. In the end what matters to consumer is the value they get from a great user experience, not from hardware specs. Zzz...

And it gets even more convoluted when you go to different OSes. We can now take the exact same "PC" HW and run both Windows and Mac OS on it. As AnandTech has pointed out the battery lasts longer on a Mac under Mac OS than under Windows. You have to consider the resources an OS (and its apps) need to function, as well as how good the drivers are, etc. Android-based devices have had higher performance than the iPhone for most releases and yet even an older iPhone has a much more natural and fluid UI.

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