All the other smart phones are so cheaply made... Why?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by hcho3, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #1
    With exception of iPhone 4, all of those android smart phones are made out of most of plastic. iPhone 4 has metal and glasses. It certainly has premium look and feels to it. This goes for almost entire line up for apple's. Their notebooks are made out of aluminum and other manufactures use cheap plastics.

    Yet, I don't hear people complain about this much. I just saw the post image of iPad 2 and people are crying to apple not to use plastic on iPad. But, yet, I never hear people complain about materials used on Android. All of those droid phones and tablets are made out of plastic.

    So, why people cannot stop crying when apple tries to use plastic, but people are okay with Android devices go with plastic?
     
  2. macrumors regular

    HPLouis

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #2
    A little over 6 months ago, Apple's premium phone (iPhone 3GS) was made out of plastic too. Products evolve. Who knows, the next premium Andriod phone might be made out of titanium.
     
  3. macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #3
    Most of the Android users are more into specs than build quality. Huge generalization, but it's true. Even Apple's plastic was far better than some of the plastic used in current Android phones.
     
  4. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #4
    You mean the apple plastic that would form cracks all the time?
     
  5. Small White Car, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010

    macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #5
    Possible Reason 1)
    The people who prefer that kind of thing are proably mostly Apple fans already.

    If you're another company you can try to attack that market, but why not go after the (far larger) market of people who don't really care about stuff like that? It's cheaper to make those phones and you have more people to sell to.

    Apple kind of has that demographic in a tight hold. Why bother fighting them for it when it's such a small piece of the overall pie?

    Possible Reason 2)
    Apple is REALLY good at indistrial design. It's possible other have tried working with heavier materials but their designs always end up being thicker and heavier and don't compare well to the Apple products. So they go back to their plastic phones that can at least match the iPhone in weight and size which are the two factors most consumers really care about.

    Possible Reason 3)
    Maybe there are phones like that out there, but without Apple's ability to buy these materials in extreme bulk quantities they can't compete on price and soon fade away. (Remember, even if they're a large company it's likey that their "expensive high quality phone" would be a smaller product for them and would not be built in numbers anywhere close to the iPhone.)



    I dunno...all guesses.


    If you look at just the iPhone then it's easy to pick apart his question like this, yes. But if you look at ALL the Apple products it starts to make more sense as a question. Macbook Airs...iMacs...iPads...Mac Pros and Macbook Pros... There is a LOT of metal and glass in that lineup that you don't see in many of the other company's laptops and desktops.

    It is an interesting question even if it's not 100% true 100% of the time.
     
  6. HPLouis, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010

    macrumors regular

    HPLouis

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #6
    I agree but he was talking specifically about smartphones, not the whole Apple lineup, and Apple's smartphone was made out of cheap plastic. Another poster stated that Apple's plastic was a better quality and I can't see how when I've seen (and also experienced) cracked plastic on 3G's and 3GS'.

    Also, wasn't it just recently that Apple started with this metal and glass movement? I have an Apple laptop at home and it's plastic.
     
  7. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    #7
    He, he, high quality plastic. My 3G and 3Gs had cracks all over them. So glad to get the metal iPhone 4. :D
     
  8. macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #8
    All crackable plastic is not made equally.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
  10. macrumors regular

    HPLouis

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #10
    ??????
     
  11. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #11
    No, it's just recently that it's begun to trickle down to all their products. Their pro laptops went titanium in 2001 and the towers went aluminum in 2003.

    It's slowly spread from there, but not everywhere. The Macbooks are still plastic. But they started this a long time ago and now items like the iMac, iPad, and 13" Macbook Pro are made of metal. It's no longer reserved for their most expensive products the way it used to be.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    HPLouis

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #12

    Oh, ok. I did not know this.

    Thank you, I learned something new today.

    Thanks again,
    Henry
     
  13. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #13
    Don't thank me, I just drug you a little further away from "having a life" into the Kingdom of Nerdonia. Sorry!
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #14
    My Droid of over a year is made of metal and is pretty hefty. Feels solid. Also has nice screen resolution. Think it has 260 ppi, and that was before the iPhone4.
    I had both the 3GS and Droid at the time. And the droid was way better built.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    HPLouis

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #15
    lol
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #16
    I would wager factors like poor design and less skill in working with certain materials play into it, but I bet the key factor here is profit. Using cheap parts and cheap plastic makes the devices easier and cheaper to build and people still buy them up. Some less ethical companies might also care for the fact that some of these products will fall apart sooner, warranting an earlier replacement.

    Apple, on the other hand, has extensive experience with industrial design, it costs them much less to build devices due to volume, and their customers also expect quality from their products.

    Other companies could produce high-quality products too, but they probably have trouble making the business case for it. It will probably remain that way until the typical consumer starts paying attention to quality in addition to price.
     
  17. macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Device engineer 30+ yrs, touchscreens 24+.
    #17
    Perhaps it's because of the plastic Apple has used in the past.

    For example, when the iPhone was first shown off, it had a plastic screen. For months, people moaned about how their soft plastic iPod screens got scratched up, and they didn't want it to happen on the phone as well.

    So just before the iPhone went on sale, Apple announced that they had changed the screen to glass. Huge sigh of relief all around.

    (Apple usually charges a premium for their devices, so I would hope that they would be using nicer materials.)

    As for Android devices, a lot of them use Gorilla glass over the display, and metal or plastic elsewhere.

    Personally, I have a case on most devices, so it really doesn't matter what they look like underneath. As long as they don't break easily, I'm happy :)
     
  18. Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #18
    It was so good it even had a 66 page thread about it. :D
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Location:
    sky
    #19
    it might have beautiful industrial design but the iphone4 has the highest accident rate of all other phones. its why I didn't purchase the ip4 because it was made of all glass..

    who makes a phone made of all glass? lol...

    I was a fan of the iphone until ip4 came out.

    hopefully apple will make the next iteration more durable.

    in the meantime I do prefer the droidx with its rubberized exterior.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #20
    Eh, there are worse things in the world than buttering both sides of your bread. If a person is prone to dropping their phone regularly the iPhone 4 probably isn't right for them—well, no expensive phone is right for them—but if you take care of it the two glass sides aren't a biggie.

    And there's always an accessory like the bumper.
     
  21. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #21
    let not forget every material has different properties.

    Problem with glass is it is very brittle so it cracks and brakes easily. Metal tends to bend when it gets hit.

    Plastic tends to take a hit and bounce back to its original shape.
    iPhone4 is an example of form over function multiple times over. Apple choose to look pretty instead of be more logical in design.
     
  22. macrumors 603

    ChazUK

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Essex (UK)
    #22
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.1; en-gb; Nexus S Build/GRH78) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

    I don't think people do overlook the use of plastic on Android devices myself. Every Nexus S review I've read have praised the hardware and software combination but slammed Samsungs use of plastic, often applauding the design and materials used in the iPhone 4 in comparison. The Galaxy S comes under regular criticism for the use of plastic too.

    For me, the best finish on an android phone I've used has to go to the Nexus One. Although it was never on par with the iPhone 4, it was weighty enough and felt nice in the hand.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    mikelegacy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #23
    Plastic is a very good product to run cell service signals through. Obviously we've seen the problem with the metal antennae on the iP4. That's a big reason why a lot of phones still use plastic IMO. Of course, I'm no expert on phone development.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #24
    Exactly this. Watch out for the Nexus-3.0 designed by HTC, and running "Honeycomb", it will be built of the high quality materials. Some of their phones are very high end feeling, the Nexus-One is nice, and some of the Windows phones are sharp as well.
     

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