material Stories October 31, 2013

Apple to Devs: Gold iPhone not best for marketing materials

Earlier this month we reported that Apple had changed its developer marketing guidelines after years of only allowing images of the black iPhone in marketing material. Since Apple’s new lineup of iPhones features a number of new colors for the device for the first time, we noted that Apple tweaked its guidelines to allow other colors of the device, including white and certain iPhone 5c colors. Now, Apple has updated its guidelines once again, this time specifically excluding the gold iPhone 5s from the list of colors allowed in photography and video marketing material (via MacRumors):

Feature only the most current Apple products in the following finishes or colors: iPhone 5s in silver or space gray, iPhone 5c in white or blue, iPad Air in silver or space gray, and iPad mini in silver or space gray. If multiple Apple products are shown, display them in the correct relative sizes.

You’ll notice that it’s also not allowing certain colors of the iPhone 5c (only blue and white are listed), so gold specifically doesn’t seem to be the issue. As it did previously, Apple provides downloads of iPhone images for developers to place their screenshots on and use for marketing purposes. Those downloads are limited to the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 5s in Silver/white and Space Gray, and the iPhone 5c and iPod touch in black and blue models.

It’s unclear Apple’s reasoning for not allowing the gold model of the iPhone 5s and certain colors of the iPhone 5c. It could possibly be due to Apple’s desire to keep the popular colors unique to its own marketing material, or perhaps Apple thinks screenshots do not show as well on certain colors as they do on black and silver models.

material Stories May 2, 2012

Inventor says Apple several years away from large Liquidmetal products

Last month, there were rumors claiming Apple planned to use the Liquidmetal amorphous metal alloys it obtained the rights to in 2010 for an upcoming iPhone. Speaking with BusinessInsider, one of Liquidmetal’s inventors, Atakan Peker, said Apple is still a few years away before we will see Liquidmetal used in a large scale—at least for MacBooks. Although, he does think a breakthrough product made of the material is in the cards for Apple.

A few highlights from the interview are below:

How long did it take to perfect Liquidmetal?

I would not say Liquidmetal was perfected. This is a technology that has yet to be matured and perfected both in manufacturing process and application development. I should note that this is a completely new and different metal technology. Therefore, there is no suitable manufacturing infrastructure yet to take full advantage of this alloy technology.

For example, I estimate that Apple will likely spend on the order of $300 million to $500 million — and three to five years — to mature the technology before it can used in large scale.

I’ve heard rumors that future MacBooks from Apple could use Liquidmetal casing, what would that be like? Is it likely to happen?

Given the size of MacBook and scale of Apple products, I think it’s unlikely that Liquidmetal casing will be used in MacBooks in the near term. It’s more likely in the form of small component such as a hinge or bracket. A MacBook casing, such as a unibody, will take two to four more years to implement

How does Liquidmetal compare to the metal, glass, and plastic used in mobile devices now?

Each material has its own advantage and disadvantages. Plastics are low cost to manufacture into complex shapes but not strong enough. Metals are strong but difficult to produce into complex shapes. And glass feels and looks beautiful but is highly fragile. Liquidmetal can combine these advantages and remedy some of these shortcomings.

Is there anything else relating to mobile gadgets and Liquidmetal that you think people should know about?

I expect Liquidmetal application in two ways: First evolutionary substitution of current materials and secondly, and more importantly, in a breakthrough product made only possible by Liquidmetal technology. Apple’s exclusively licensing a new material technology (specifically for casing and enclosures) is a first in the industry.

This is very exciting. Therefore, I expect Apple to use this technology in a breakthrough product. Such product will likely bring an innovative user interface and industrial design together, and will also be very difficult to copy or duplicate with other material technologies.

You can read the full interview at BusinessInsider.

material Stories September 1, 2011

A new patent application published by the US Patent & Trademark Office (via Patently Apple) today reveals Apple’s possible plans to radically change the implementation of antennas in future iPhones and other small form factor devices.

The majority of the patent describes a new composite material made up of a “foam substrate formed of a plurality of foam cells”. However, possible uses for the composite, as detailed in the patent, include a possible new antenna window on mobile devices. This would mark a huge departure from the antenna design in the currently shipping iPhone 4, which still relies on the antenna baked into the stainless steel frame. The same antenna that caused so much controversy regarding reception issues.

Patently Apple explains the potential benefits of the composite: expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP