Will the new glass material of choice for high-end smartphones?

According to the known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI consultant, the future “iPhones 8” which will arrive in 2017 will have a noticeably different design to offer today. And the differentiators will be the glass.

There will be another remarkable change in these devices, it seems that also take the AMOLED technology for their screens, but that decision in choosing materials manufacturing is surely have more impact on the purchasing decision of users, who for years they have seen the recent iPhones metal was the material associated with high – end devices. Will the glass that material premium with the arrival of those iPhones?

An old acquaintance

The use of glass extensively is not something strange about the iPhone, which made use of this material in both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, where the glass was present in both the front and the rear, although that yes, both sheets were joined by a metal strip.

Glass metarial on high end smartphoneThis material again used in the iPhone 5 and 5S despite rumors that pointed to a change of materials. In fact the presence of the glass decreased significantly, as though there were bands cristan the top and bottom of the trisera part, aluminum was the dominating that part.

In these devices the reinforced resistance to shock and scratches thanks to this decision and also added some design elements that for many added extra elegance to these devices. Aluminum was becoming crucial element of Apple devices, as would be seen in later developments.

In fact Apple would give a radical turn to that design with the appearance of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which first adopted aluminum as absolute protagonist and also gave that unique jump in diagonal screen. The glass had stopped be the darling of Apple.

Actually this material has remained part of Apple’s strategy, which has managed to reuse the design of the iPhone 5S to adapt to new times. The iPhone that we analyzed a few days ago again had a starring those bands of glass on the front and rear design, although aluminum returned to make an appearance as in previous models.

What is a premium material smartphones?

Apple has always been a reference when setting trends in the design of mobile devices. It was not alone in making the glass was the protagonist of the design, and in fact the Xperia Z Sony has always been committed to this material, characteristic of terminals that one easily associated with the Japanese firm thanks to those designs in the the crystal was present everywhere.

The truth is that the use of different materials in the chassis of smartphones has become almost a matter of national (and global) discussion. The use of plastic of those early models of the vast majority of smartphones became the norm if you wanted to save costs.

However the metal came hard on some devices. The use of metal in the HTC Legend set the tone. That the unibody designs that became famous Apple were also not its creation: the Nokia N8 was the terminal that popularized this production technique that later would adopt in Cupertino.

However, it was Apple who popularized the use of metal and aluminum terminals of the blue just to bring metal and were considered high-end or, at least, with pretensions to be. The plastic was booked less ambitious terminals, while the glass of the iPhone 4 and 4S was also relegated to a secondary plane. The ranking was clear: first the metal, glass and then finally the plastic.

Some manufacturers tried to iterate over certain materials to give them new possibilities. The LG G4 and striking back in cowhide passed with more pain than glory for the catwalk to the design was increasingly important on mobile devices. Ceramic plastics also gave a return to the “cheap” plastic models of yesteryear, but the fact is that the metal remained the reference material for those seeking the “touch of class”.

To taste, colors, say many. And it’s true: it is true that -here media industry and intone the guilt have created this apparently unequivocal relationship between “metal” and “high end”, there are terminals using plastic in an exemplary manner and would go smoothly in the sack high – end, and also metal terminals that even with that could not become considered to be worthy to be stuck in the same category.

You may also like to read another article on Lab-Soft: Is it better to take a selfie with the back camera? Not all phones!

The unknown crystal

Where was the glass in that debate? As it was curiously the great forgotten and that is precisely what could change in the iPhone 8 hypothetical that may see this material effectively return to a position of reference in the debate.

The use of this material raises interesting questions. Clearly shock resistance apparently injured out against the metal and even new plastics that are integrated into the housings of the latest smartphones.

The extensive and fantastic analysis of materials published in AnandTech now almost two years ago showed that the crystal was less prone to scratches and scratches, but that could more easily break. The report also noted the use of Gorilla Glass provides greater protection and also offered a thermal conductivity that was between metal and polycarbonate.

That could be detrimental to mobile in which CPU and GPU dissipate a lot of heat, but may alleviate the problem, something that has traditionally made in designs polycarbonate with metal frames dissipate heat to the display and other components.

Among its advantages was an interesting: just attenuates signals internal antennae radio, better quality of coverage. However in AnandTech they emphasized that the shape and design of the phone are also limited, at least with current tools.

Since the industrial design that come in Cupertino is already outlined in the case of its designs unibody, it is interesting to reflect on what effective, operational and may even cost bring the glass in this segment advantages. The question remains in the air, and Apple and other manufacturers will which surely answer in the coming months … and years.

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