iPhone 5 could be tougher with new bonding feature
Despite the profusion of new and upcoming smartphones the one that many are still asking about most is the Apple iPhone 5, even though a release is still some months away. We know that many of our readers like to hear the latest speculation and developments about the next iPhone and today’s news concerns the possibility that the iPhone 5 could feature a technique that would make the casing tougher and more durable.
If you’ve been following iPhone 5 news, you’ll no doubt have heard of many of the specs and features anticipated, including some we had hints of from the new iPad release. Some of these are a larger screen, improved processor, LTE connectivity and a better camera but this is the first time we’ve heard a mention of ultrasonic bonding and to be frank we weren’t sure what this meant at first.
We heard about this latest possibility through IB Times, which refers to a Patently Apple report about Apple refining an older ultrasonic bonding technique from 2008. The patent application has just been published and refers to a process used on the metal-backed iPhone of 2009 and also current iPods and then goes on to says that Apple might have refined the process in the latest iPad and Apple TV designs. The technique enables a way of joining metal and plastic surfaces together and benefits of this could include lighter devices as well as saving on costs.
The traditional difficulties of bonding different materials together (such as metal and plastic) are discussed, as well as how ultrasonic welding is used in some iPhone and iPod models as a form of attachment. Benefits of this include localized heating with no unnecessary interference with other parts of the device and also the fact that these joins are more aesthetically pleasing than some traditional methods. However there are also disadvantages, such as limits to the materials that can be used with this technique. The latest patent concerns Apple’s solution to this dilemma, with the possibility of providing a quicker and more reliable process without the use of adhesives.
It’s technical stuff so you may want to check out the nitty gritty at the Patently Apple link above if you’re technically inclined but the long and short of it is that the technique could save money, keep devices light and also provide a stronger and more durable bond. IBTimes appears to be under the impression that this could be used on the iPhone 5 but we imagine that very much depends on how far the refined process has been developed. Nevertheless it’s certainly a possibility. Apple Insider also reports on the patent application and shows some useful diagrams that may help explain the process further. We’d like to hear your thoughts about the latest possibility for the iPhone 5 so let us have your comments.