Next iPhone: Glass back or not?

One of the more controversial components of the iPhone 4 is its non-Gorilla glass backing.  Glass is a great material for displays obviously because it is transparent, relatively strong and scratch-resistant.  However, it is more questionable for the back of a device because it breaks spectacularly where traditional materials are stronger and lighter.

But it does look awesome on the back of the iPhone 4.

So the question of the day: Should Apple’s next iPhone continue to use a glass backing or should they move to a different material like plastic, aluminum or liquid metal?

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Digitimes: iPhone 5 to employ curved glass?

Although the previous generation iPod nano had curved glass (it wasn’t universally loved), the Samsung Nexus S was the first mainstream smartphone with curved glass.  If Digitimes is right, the iPhone 5 may be the second (and likely more popular).

…the latest being circulated around the supply chain in Taiwan is that Apple is going to adopt a curved cover glass for its next generation model, according to industry sources.

That would seem to fly in the face of recent reports that the iPhone 5 would be very similar to the iPhone 4 in appearance.  Digitimes has found what they think is anecdotal evidence.

However, in order to push forward the production of curved glass, Apple reportedly has purchased 200-300 glass cutting machines to be used by glass makers, said the sources.

The glass slicing machines are currently being stored at associated assembly plants and will be brought online once yield rates for the production of curved glass reaches a satisfactory level, the sources revealed.

Although Samsung is a competitor wrapped in lawsuits with Apple, it is also a major supplier and obviously has experience with curved glass screens. Read more

iPad 2 weight savings: 75 percent is glass/LCD

The iPhone repair experts at iFixyouri have determined that most of the weight savings in the iPad 2 – a fifth of a pound, is in the LCD and Glass assembly.

Here’s a breakdown weights of the Wifi iPads:

iPad 1 – 712.60g
iPad 2 – 600.60g (iPad 2 – 112g lighter)

If we break that down even further, the iPad 1 LCD/Glass is almost half the weight of the original iPad.

iPad 1 front half(LCD & Glass assembly) – 347.90g
iPad 1 back half – 364.70g

However, breaking down the iPad 2, we find a much lighter glass assembly accounts for most of the weight loss.  The glass we found out last night is 27% thinner than the original iPad. Eliminating the frame that the glass sits on, using thinner LCD and thinner glass, Apple saved 84.7g. That makes up for 75% of the weight reduction.

iPad 2 front half(LCD & Glass) – 263.20g
iPad 2 back half – 337.40g

Apple was able to shave almost 30 grams off of the rest of the device, and with a slightly bigger battery, that is significant.  But the lightness you feel is mostly the glass weight savings.

Our report on the iPad 2 glass from over a month ago first detailed Apple’s effort to save weight in the LCD/Glass assembly.

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