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Apple highlights invention behind iPhone 5

post #1 of 55
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Apple has laid out a series of inventions and engineering tasks required to bring iPhone 5 to market, noting "we could have taken the easy way out and designed something more reasonable and less remarkable. But we didn't."

The portfolio of inventions appears aimed directly at critics and competitors who have painted Apple as merely an assembler of other company's inventions and mocked the company over supposedly having patented the "rectangle and rounded corners."

"If the technology didn?t exist, we invented it," Apple's site says. "If a component wasn?t small enough, we re-imagined it. If convention was standing in the way, we left it behind. The result is iPhone 5: the thinnest, lightest, fastest iPhone ever."



Apple also took a subtle shot at so-called "phablet" devices that stretch screen sizes to 5 inches or more, noting "it's not just bigger, it's just right."

The company writes, "anyone can make a larger smartphone display. But if you go large for large?s sake, you end up with a phone that feels oversize, awkward, and hard to use."

In contrast, Apple's says the iPhone 5's new 4 inch display is "designed the right way: it?s bigger, but it?s the same width as iPhone 4S. So everything you?ve always done with one hand ? typing on the keyboard, for instance ? you can still do with one hand."



Thinking small, fighting for progress



To make the newest iPhone just 7.6mm thin, "Apple engineers had to think small, component by component," the company noted, describing tasks such as sliming down the standard micro-SIM card by 44 percent to create a "nano-SIM."



Apple initially hoped to create a virtual software SIM that was reprogrammable and didn't require physical space nor a housing, door and electrical contacts, but carriers globally balked at the idea. Then, after proposing a reduced size nano-SIM as a royalty-free design, competitors Nokia, Motorola and RIM complained.

Nokia was particularly upset that Apple's free design was "an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others."

The issue wasn't resolved until this June, when the European Telecommunications Standards Institute selected Apple's design over rival proposals that weren't backwardly compatible.

LTE and Lightning



Apple also noted that iPhone 5 puts both LTE data traffic and CDMA voice on the same chip, rather than the conventional dual chip design that its competitors rushed to market over the last year. That makes the new iPhone more battery efficient and smaller, and retaining a 8 hour LTE browsing lifespan.

The phone supports 4G LTE theoretically up to 100Mbps (U.S. LTE carriers currently deliver around 40Mbps, which is still easily twice as fast as most fast cable Internet service) across a variety of providers in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia.

It also supports the same Dual Channel HSDPA as the new iPad, offering speeds up to 42Mbps on carriers that don't yet support LTE (which isn't widespread outside the U.S.; T-Mobile supports DC-HSDPA and is expanding its service with the intent of supporting the iPhone in the future.)

The new phone now also supports dual band WiFi 802.11n on both 2.5 and 5GHz (matching the iPad) allowing it to connect to local wireless networks at up to 150Mbps.

Apple also developed a replacement for its 30-pin Dock Connector, a new 9-pin design that is 80 percent smaller and branded "Lightning" to associate it with Thunderbolt.

Apple also shaved 30 percent off the thickness of the Retina display by integrating touch sensors right into the display pixel matrix, which it says also helps deliver greater display clarity.

29MP robots polishing mirrored chamfers with diamonds



"Look at iPhone 5 and you can?t help but notice the exquisite chamfer surrounding the display," the company boasts. "A crystalline diamond cuts this beveled edge. It?s what gives iPhone 5 its distinctive lines. Fitting for a phone so brilliant."





Apple says that "never before has this degree of fit and finish been applied to a phone," noting that the iPhone 5's housing is visually inspected by machines equipped with 29 megapixel cameras in order to optically recognize and align 725 unique, precision matched inlays.

The phone's own camera is outfitted with a sapphire crystal surface (shown below) with a hardness "second only to diamond on the scale of transparent materials," Apple notes. "That means the surface of the lens is far less likely to scratch."



High tech environmental standards as well



"Every iPhone starting with iPhone 3GS is free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). That includes our newest iPhone ? iPhone 5," Apple notes.

Apple notes that the new phone uses highly recyclable aluminum and glass, pointing out that the "inlays along the top and bottom made of ceramic glass (on the white and silver model) or pigmented glass (on the black and slate model)."

The company also says it goes "so far as to disassemble our products into individual components and materials in our Cupertino lab. Then we test them using many methods, including X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and ion chromatography. We do this to ensure that every product we release meets our environmental standards."
post #2 of 55
I wonder if we should be concerned about scratches in the black version (for those who don't use a case). Nice thing about the glass sandwich design was that the aluminum band could still be raw aluminum and always look good. I'm thinking the back of the black iPhone will look pretty horrible after it's spent a year or so living in a pocket. I might get the while one instead.
post #3 of 55

That whole "725 different back plates" thing seems wasteful to me ("just be more accurate!"), unless they're literally reaching a physical limitation of the capabilities of the machines in question, in which case it turns into a problem similar to the one that transistors will run into soon.

post #4 of 55
They didn't say it was sapphire, but sapphire glass. I doubt they could use real sapphire.
post #5 of 55
Sorry, I like iPhone 4s better designwise. iPhone 5 does not have protective edges covering front glass, when would Apple learn?
post #6 of 55
Apple is tops when it comes to patting self on back. When did anyone ever discredit the merits of their manufacturing capabilities? The criticism of their "innovative design" is over their vague UI and dress patents. I suspect that none of the innovation outlined here will ever be stolen by a rival manufacturer (such as Samsung)
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

I wonder if we should be concerned about scratches in the black version (for those who don't use a case). Nice thing about the glass sandwich design was that the aluminum band could still be raw aluminum and always look good. I'm thinking the back of the black iPhone will look pretty horrible after it's spent a year or so living in a pocket. I might get the while one instead.

 

I suggest you to apply Invisible Shield from Zagg (maximum protection) to iPhone5, when they come out.  It also provides better grip.

post #8 of 55
I can't wait! I'm going with Verizon on this one.Been on att since they dropped the iPhone 3GS.
Been on the iPhone 4 for two years.
post #9 of 55
The use synthetic sapphire crystal for the lens, just like any high end watch. It is man made but yes it is still technically sapphire.
post #10 of 55
Originally Posted by hjb View Post
Sorry, I like iPhone 4s better designwise. iPhone 5 does not have protective edges covering front glass, when would Apple learn?

 

Could you explain what you mean by that?

Feel free to circle things, draw on the image, etc.

post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That whole "725 different back plates" thing seems wasteful to me ("just be more accurate!"), unless they're literally reaching a physical limitation of the capabilities of the machines in question, in which case it turns into a problem similar to the one that transistors will run into soon.

I think they meant that the machine would take a picture to measure the size and then find a matching part in the "725 back plates" and match the two together. The next piece would use the same method; selecting the best match from the large pile of plates. Remember that there may be a few microns difference in size between phones so each part is unique and they use all the parts they can. I don't see them wasting all those pieces each time. I'm sure another piece will fit with that specific back plate if the first one doesn't
post #12 of 55
The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S used to be the best phone design on the market. But now, even though Apple didn't do much to the front, the housing and the bigger screen make this new iPhone the best design on the market. That is my opinion of course. Close second or third would be the new Lumia coming out. That phone has a new and different design.

Apple always break a lot of barriers everytime they make a new iPhone. So I really do not mnow why they are acting like this is something new to them....
post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Could you explain what you mean by that?

Feel free to circle things, draw on the image, etc.

If you look at the first image in this article, you see that it does not have protective edges covering front glass edges.

 

And I like iPhone 4 design better because it is awkwardly long and would not provide better reading if you hold it vertically.  I don't like two tone design at the back, I would rather have glass back with Invisible Shield on the back of course.  I like, though, the thinness.

post #14 of 55

I sold my iPhone 4 two weeks ago anxiously waiting for the 5.  After the keynote I went out and got a 4S.  There weren't enough features in the 5 to me to warrant the following ordering circus over the next month.

post #15 of 55
Originally Posted by Timbit View Post
I think they meant that the machine would take a picture to measure the size and then find a matching part in the "725 back plates" and match the two together. The next piece would use the same method; selecting the best match from the large pile of plates. Remember that there may be a few microns difference in size between phones so each part is unique and they use all the parts they can. I don't see them wasting all those pieces each time. I'm sure another piece will fit with that specific back plate if the first one doesn't

 

Okay, yes, but can't they just cut them more accurately so that there aren't "unique" parts? 


Originally Posted by hjb View Post
If you look at the first image in this article, you see that it does not have protective edges covering front glass edges.

 

Ah, I see. No, that's the glass itself… Operationally there won't be any difference when this thing is dropped.

post #16 of 55

I like it.  Looking forward to seeing it in person.  Pictures & video can only take you so far.

post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjb View Post

Sorry, I like iPhone 4s better designwise. iPhone 5 does not have protective edges covering front glass, when would Apple learn?

The 4s has a plastic protective edge which is too thin to provide much protection.  At least it didn't for me.  The 5 appears to have most of the glass screen imbedded into the aluminum case so a glancing blow at 45 degrees shouldn't break the glass.  I agree it could be a better but I'm not sure it is any worse than the 4s.  The glass on the back is a waste for anyone who is going to use a case anyway.  Getting rid of it does allow a thinner with "with case" phone.

post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjb View Post

If you look at the first image in this article, you see that it does not have protective edges covering front glass edges.

 

And I like iPhone 4 design better because it is awkwardly long and would not provide better reading if you hold it vertically.  I don't like two tone design at the back, I would rather have glass back with Invisible Shield on the back of course.  I like, though, the thinness.

 If you look at this image, I think you can see the plastic mounting around the glass on the iPhone 5:

 And about the length issue, I think it's all perspective. When I look at the new iPod Touch by itself, I can't even tell that they increased the length. And when I look at my iPhone 4 now, it feels a bit stubby, lol. And come on, they added only 1/3 of an inch to the length. It really is hardly noticeable, unless you have an accessory/device that wraps around the current design perfectly.

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post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I sold my iPhone 4 two weeks ago anxiously waiting for the 5.  After the keynote I went out and got a 4S.  There weren't enough features in the 5 to me to warrant the following ordering circus over the next month.

 

 

....so you sold you 2ish year old phone, to buy a 1ish year old phone at the same price the day the brand new one was announced because you didn't want to either order online or wait a extra month?

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post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Okay, yes, but can't they just cut them more accurately so that there aren't "unique" parts? 

 

Ah, I see. No, that's the glass itself… Operationally there won't be any difference when this thing is dropped.

I disagree with you.  Edges are weakest area if we talk about glass.  Even if it is covered with film, it is highly likely to be exposed as there is no perfect fit film at the moment.

post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

 If you look at this image, I think you can see the plastic mounting around the glass on the iPhone 5:

 And about the length issue, I think it's all perspective. When I look at the new iPod Touch by itself, I can't even tell that they increased the length. And when I look at my iPhone 4 now, it feels a bit stubby, lol. And come on, they added only 1/3 of an inch to the length. It really is hardly noticeable, unless you have an accessory/device that wraps around the current design perfectly.

 

Still, if iPhone 5 is dropped less than 45 degree front facing downwards, the edges are exposed.

post #22 of 55
Originally Posted by hjb View Post
I disagree with you.  Edges are weakest area if we talk about glass.  Even if it is covered with film, it is highly likely to be exposed as there is no perfect fit film at the moment.

 

Unless it's covered with rubber on the corners, it's going to be damaged in some way.

post #23 of 55

You know, with that extra length, I wish that they would add an extra row to they keyboard so that we could have easy access to numbers...

post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjb View Post

Still, if iPhone 5 is dropped less than 45 degree front facing downwards, the edges are exposed.



Once again, where is the 4 better here? There is much more glass exposed on the 4 than the 5...
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post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjb View Post

 

Still, if iPhone 5 is dropped less than 45 degree front facing downwards, the edges are exposed.

 

I don't understand this whole conversation at all. On the 4 and 4S the entire edge of the glass exposed (plastic rim does nothing) while on the 5 all of the glass is inlaid completely within the unibody. The 5 would clearly be much more robust. Also, the almost full back on the unibody (as opposed to just an outer ring of metal) would be MUCH stronger and less prone to torsion and deflection. Again, the 5 is much better engineered. Perhaps you're mistaking the shiny 45° chamfered edge of the metal for glass. That's metal, not glass.

post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjb View Post

 

I suggest you to apply Invisible Shield from Zagg (maximum protection) to iPhone5, when they come out.  It also provides better grip.

 

Thanks. I don't know what I didn't think of that! (honestly didn't think of it). Hopefully a shield will adhere well to the textured metal. Still... I do rather like the look of the aluminum on the while iPhone. Not crazy about the white maybe... but I like the raw bead-blasted aluminum look better than the anodized black metal.

post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjb View Post

Sorry, I like iPhone 4s better designwise. iPhone 5 does not have protective edges covering front glass, when would Apple learn?

 

looks like iPhone 4 is going to be my last Apple phone. 

post #28 of 55
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post
looks like iPhone 4 is going to be my last Apple phone. 

 

Good. One less troll to deal with.

post #29 of 55
I enjoy this topic. I wish Apple( and others) would highlight their inventions more often. Some of the things these companies engineer are fascinating and are something to behold.
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

 

Thanks. I don't know what I didn't think of that! (honestly didn't think of it). Hopefully a shield will adhere well to the textured metal. Still... I do rather like the look of the aluminum on the while iPhone. Not crazy about the white maybe... but I like the raw bead-blasted aluminum look better than the anodized black metal.

 

I have Galaxy Nexus with Invisible Shield Maximum Protection.  You know that Galaxy Nexus has plastic back cover, but the film went well with it.  I think it would be ok to the metal back.  See the installation guide on the web and take your time when you apply it.  Agree with you, I also hoped iPhone 5 with aluminum back in November last year before I bought my Nexus.

post #31 of 55

I love how Samsung said their design is inspired by nature and made for humans, did they ever explain their build process? You know, the precision that goes into building their devices? Or did they just throw out fluffy words?

post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Good. One less troll to deal with.

Yeah. Not everyone can appreciate what goes into designing these products. I love to read about the manufacturing processes involved in designing these things.

Also, Apple marches to the beat of its own drum. People see what the market is doing and are put off when Apple doesn't attempt to mimic their competitors. Personally, I love Apple's approach. They aren't afraid to blaze a new trail. Market research, why bother?
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

I wonder if we should be concerned about scratches in the black version (for those who don't use a case). Nice thing about the glass sandwich design was that the aluminum band could still be raw aluminum and always look good. I'm thinking the back of the black iPhone will look pretty horrible after it's spent a year or so living in a pocket. I might get the while one instead.

 

If you look at the image in the picture, the black is pre anodized while they are polishing it. 
I would think that would show that it would be pretty resistant to scratches. 

post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

 

I don't understand this whole conversation at all. On the 4 and 4S the entire edge of the glass exposed (plastic rim does nothing) while on the 5 all of the glass is inlaid completely within the unibody. The 5 would clearly be much more robust. Also, the almost full back on the unibody (as opposed to just an outer ring of metal) would be MUCH stronger and less prone to torsion and deflection. Again, the 5 is much better engineered. Perhaps you're mistaking the shiny 45° chamfered edge of the metal for glass. That's metal, not glass.

FINALLY!!! 
I was wondering when someone would point this out. 

post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

I enjoy this topic. I wish Apple( and others) would highlight their inventions more often. Some of the things these companies engineer are fascinating and are something to behold.

I completely agree. You look at the phone and it looks nice and is thinner but you can't really tell how much work, unique design and new technology went into being able to make such a device. I find these sorts of things fascinating.
post #36 of 55

Queue all the trolls, slobbering like inbred monkeys about how this simply a 'stretched' iPhone 4S, and how Apple got 'lazy' and 'didn't bother changing anything', then point to some oversized piece of Android garbage phone surrounded by shitty plastic as an example of innovative design. 

 

It's clear a shitload of R&D went into this, as well as a meticulous amount of thought. engineering, and design. Yes, the shape is generally the same, which was a conscious design decision. Just like the new Retina Macbook Pros.  But that's it. The entire phone is remade from the ground up, both internally and externally, with alot of deep thought and care. Entirely new production techniques had to be thought up and perfected to create the phone. How many other phones can you say that about? This is a completely new phone, end of story. There's nothing lazy about it. The fact that they decided to retain some of the iconic design language changes none of that. 

post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjb View Post

Sorry, I like iPhone 4s better designwise. iPhone 5 does not have protective edges covering front glass, when would Apple learn?

Those aren't protective edges covering the glass in 4/4S- It is the glass! With the glass inlaid in the IP5 (meaning it doesn't protrude above the metal band) glass strength is significantly enhanced because when impacted, the glass has no where to go to expand, thus crack. Try placing an egg in a ring, or pipe where it sticks out half way. Then beat on the top of the egg with a hammer. The egg won't break because the sides are supported by the ring or pipe it is resting in. Same with glass on IP5. Since it rests in the unibody casing, the glass can't expand to crack very easily. Thus, the IP5 glass should be considerably stronger and damage resistant.
post #38 of 55
I'm feeling a little underwhelmed, and I'm an Apple fanboy. I don't want/need a longer iPhone, the 4s I have is the right size. I knew last year that the 4s would be an interim upgrade. I didn't expect iPhone5 to feel like an interim upgrade too though.
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

 

I don't understand this whole conversation at all. On the 4 and 4S the entire edge of the glass exposed (plastic rim does nothing) while on the 5 all of the glass is inlaid completely within the unibody. The 5 would clearly be much more robust. Also, the almost full back on the unibody (as opposed to just an outer ring of metal) would be MUCH stronger and less prone to torsion and deflection. Again, the 5 is much better engineered. Perhaps you're mistaking the shiny 45° chamfered edge of the metal for glass. That's metal, not glass.

 

What plastic rim are you talking about there is no plastic just glass and metal !
post #40 of 55
"Look at iPhone 5 and you can’t help but notice the exquisite chamfer surrounding the display," - well, notice it for a few seconds at least before you wrap it in a leather pouch or a rubber bumper case or similar so that the beauty that you can no longer appreciate is well protected.

Ah well ...
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