Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by SixofNine, Sep 9, 2014.
And remember: Don't put your iPhone in a blender!
LOL! He should wear a mask. The fumes coming out of the wreckage are probably toxic.
iPhone's bending problem has nothing to do with aluminum. It has everything to do with geometry.
((Edit: Material choice matters, always. But material has to work together with the geometry it's been shaped into. The choice of aluminum here isn't the limiting factor. The geometric design of the aluminum chassis is.))
Nobody uses pure aluminum for general purpose manufacturing. They use aluminum alloys instead. And the alloys themselves are incredibly diverse.
You can get extremely rigid alloys that will be incredibly difficult to bend even in thin structures prone to bending (such as 7075), but the disadvantage of that is difficulty of machining (and often welding too). This type is dominantly used in transportation industry (automotive, marine, aircraft, etc). Manufacturers take the additional manufacturing costs in order to reap the great strength-to-density ratio.
And then there are buttery soft alloys that are extremely easy to machine (3031 for instance), even manually, but they're also way too deformable to be useful for any load bearing purposes. I don't have too much experience with these, but they're cheap, and generally a good choice for decorative uses.
Apple uses anodized 6000 series aluminum (most likely 6061, possibly a tempered variant like -T4 edit: apparently it's 6003, which is similar to 6061 in properties). This is a good compromise between the extremes, and is the most ubiquitous aluminum alloy out there. It's got good mechanical properties, easy to machine, easy to weld. Their choice of material was correct in this case.
The problem with the iPhone 6 chassis comes from something we call "stress concentration" in engineering and this phenomenon is related to the geometry of an object. More specifically, it has to do with the cross section profile that is being bent.
If you watch the bending test video, you'll notice that iPhone 6 bent exactly at the root of the volume buttons. And if you look even more closely, you'll notice that the bending is actually on just one side -- the side of the volume buttons. The opposite side is actually mostly unscathed.
This is because the cross section area of the bending profile decreases dramatically right at that point. They have cut out a hole to accommodate the volume buttons, and when under loading, the internal stresses of the structure are being concentrated at the base of this cutout. So when the structure fails, it fails at that point. The lower cross section area decreases the resistance to bending, and makes it possible to bend the chassis at a lower applied force than what it would take otherwise, had the volume buttons not been there (but of course they have to be there).
The result here wouldn't have changed if Apple had used plastic in place of aluminum. In fact, it probably would have been worse. Typically phone manufacturers use brittle plastic in their devices (ductile plastic is the kind that feels really cheap and terrible), so the chassis would have broken entirely at the same point. They could have avoided the issue, maybe, if they opted for steel or a tougher aluminum alloy but then you run into other problems and have to retool essentially your entire product line.
The reason why Galaxy Note 3 passes the bending test doesn't have anything to do with the material it's made out of. It has everything to do with the internal geometry of the chassis. The internal magnesium alloy chassis (which isn't any better than aluminum as a material) has an I-beam cross section that is great against bending, and it's further sandwiched between two shells, which are in this case plastic. It's reinforced very thoroughly, to the point where human-applied forces cannot bend the device beyond its "elastic range" (this is the deformation range within which the device can recover to its original state when loads are removed).
Apple could have designed the aluminum chassis in a way that would accomplish the exact same thing, and if they had, people wouldn't be mistakenly criticizing the aluminum here. They would just be talking about how nice the material feels to the touch (because it does, and yes, it is "premium" much more so than plastic). Unfortunately, they fucked it up. Again, it's all in the geometry.
Jeepers, I know I'm old school, but who on earth wants to routinely sit on his/her phone? How about just taking good care of it? I treat it like a computer: don't drop it, don't put anything heavy on top of it, don't get it wet, don't leave it in the sun, and . . . NEVER put it in the blender.
I feel my age when I read about how folks get all gushy-gushy over those phones. They are literally joined at the hip to those phones. Amazing!
8.0.2 is now out and doesn't break cell service.
Low Latency 110: Get bent - CNET
LOL! That's why I decided not to get the Plus. I keep my phone in either my purse or a front pants pocket.
Looks like Consumer Reports got in on the action.
Consumer Reports' flex test puts new bent on fuss over squashed iPhones - CNET
Bottom line? If it bends, you're abusing the hell out of it.
Good write-up Leon, speaking as a professional engineer.
From Tom's Consumer Reports article it appears that it requires quite a lot of force to bend either iPhone 6 model (6 70#, 6+ 90#) to permanent deformation. That sounds like quite a lot unless you stick it in your back pocket and then accidentally sit on something small and hard enough to focus the force right on the phone. Sitting in your car with phone in back pocket it is sandwiched between buttock and car seat, both flexible, and I can't imagine that would harm the phone.
Never the less I do not make a practice of carrying my phone in my back pocket, or if I do I remove it before sitting down. Most usually I carry mine in my front pocket, with my car keys -- and have had no noticeable harm. That Gorilla glass is tough. Even after two years of fairly heavy use I can't see a single scratch.
One warning to everybody, although I'm pretty sure everybody at GA is smart enough to do this, whatever phone you buy, you should buy some sort of case (I like Incipio) to protect it against drops. Sooner or later everybody is going to drop their phone. If you are lucky it will land on a soft surface like a carpet. If you are somewhat lucky and drop it on a harder surface it may land just right and do no damage or only minor cosmetic damage.
A month ago I was at the local supermarket and saw a late teenish girl drop her new 5s on the floor, and when she picked it up the screen was so shattered that it had actually separated from the body. Still working though, or at least presenting an image. I told her after she gets it fixed get a protective case for it, and suggested a local repair place that might be able to fix it. My guess: $200.
Meh had a iPhone for years but just recently got a Galaxy 5s and won't look back!
After I ordered my new iPhone 6 last month, I went to the trade-in site and went through the appraisal routine. I received an email message the same day that the total trade-in value was $200 and that I'd get an envelope mailed to me for the purpose of turning it in later. The date of the message is September 16th.
Reading the small print of the above message on the same day I received it, I found the following: "The device must be received within 30 days of appraisal completion or the value is subject to change." Verizon had told me when I ordered the iPhone 6 that the phone would be delivered on or by October 7th (my contract ends October 11th), so I figured that I'd be able to meet the deadline to turn in my old phone without a problem.
Last week I received the return envelope. It was accompanied by a bright orange paper with the following message on it:
ATTENTION: Important message regarding your iPhone trade-in. The total trade-in value includes a promotional offer for Verizon Wireless customers that is only valid if you purchased and activated a new Apple iPhone 6 with Verizon Wireless during 9/9/14 to 9/30/14. If you have not met the purchase requirement or are not a Verizon Wireless customer then the trade-in value will be cancelled.
Okay, I purchased the phone on 9/16/2014, but how would I be able to activate it before I received it? The agent at Verizon Wireless told me to start the trade-in process right away, which I did. Does anyone here understand this better than I do?
Never mind! I have found out that the promotional offer they are not going to give me is all of $25, so I still get back $175 for the appraised value. I can live with that.
And don't forget... you can now rapidly charge your iPhone 6 by zapping it in the microwave for three minutes!
LOL! I'll stick to the conventional method, thanks!
More drama from Verizon Wireless. They sent me an email on October 7th telling me that my iPhone 6 shipping date had been moved from October 7th to possibly October 17th due to a massive demand for the phones. They offered me a choice of canceling or changing the order and provided a phone number. No mention was made of my contract, which runs out on October 11th. So I went to Live Chat, but they were swamped, so Ed called the number, and after jumping through all sorts of hoops to prove he was actually who he said he was, they told him that I would not lose service before I activated the new phone. Here's hoping that's what actually happens. I will also have to start all over again with the trade-in option. They give you 30 days to send it in after you do the online assessment. Mine was done on September 16th. RATS! I'll wait until I actually have the iPhone 6 in my hand before doing another assessment.
You'll get the subsidized price whether your contract expires or not. Don't worry, they're in a competitive business and they have to treat their customers fairly. If nothing else, customer service will make an adjustment after everything is complete and make things come out okay. After all it's their fault.
Actually it's Apple's fault. I heard today that their Chinese manufacturing facility is having difficulty hiring enough new employees to meet the demand for the new phones.
That's one reason I'll probably wait until January. My contract expires in December. By January maybe they'll have the .1 revision out fixing the bugs the .0 version has.
Oh, I'll get the same price on the trade-in, but I'll have to go through the assessment questionnaire all over again because the old phone will be more than 30 days older by then. That's a minor pain. It was losing my phone service before I received the new phone that worried me. That's interesting about the Chinese problem.
Got notified that the phone is arriving on Tuesday, so I guess the Chinese rustled up a few more employees.
Must have delayed their plans to suppress Hong Kong.