Graphene May Be Next Area of Innovation for Apple and Samsung

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 15, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In a world where mobile devices are becoming thinner and thinner and in some cases being worn on the wrist or other parts of the body, graphene may be the wonder material of the future, with properties that make it stronger than steel, more flexible than rubber and more conductive than most metals. As a result, the material could initiate a new wave of innovation in hardware design and manufacturing that may lead to incredibly thin and flexible devices. According to Bloomberg, it also may become the next battlefield for Apple and Samsung.

    Graphene is graphite, the material in pencils, arranged in a layer that is one atom thick. The arrangement of the carbon molecules makes the material stronger than steel and even diamonds. It also is flexible, conductive and so transparent that is nearly invisible to the naked eye. It can be applied to other materials, potentially allowing for the creation of flexible displays and bendable devices.

    Apple, Samsung and Google are allegedly in an arms race to acquire patents and other intellectual property to cover the design and use of the material in both mobile and wearable devices. With global mobile device sales predicted to reach $847 billion by 2016 and wearable technology to explode to a $19 billion business in the next five years, the development of graphene may be critical to a company's ability to compete in the future electronics marketplace.

    The biggest hurdle for the widespread adoption of graphene is the high cost of production. These technological and manufacturing issues are being addressed by Seoul National University professor Hong Byung Hee, who owns a patent for mass-producing graphene-based displays.
    Apple has been silent on its own research into the use of graphene, with Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet declining to comment to Bloomberg on Hong's patent and the company's interest in the material. Unlike Samsung, Apple's own publicly available patents and applications addressing graphene are scant, but it seems the company is at least exploring what the material might be used for.

    Article Link: Graphene May Be Next Area of Innovation for Apple and Samsung
  2. macrumors 6502

    Eddy Munn

    Dec 27, 2008
  3. LeoNobilis, May 15, 2014
    Last edited: May 15, 2014

    macrumors regular


    Apr 24, 2006
    The Netherlands
    Forget Apple. Innovation and Apple of late don't go together. Things aren't what they were ten years ago.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Feb 4, 2011
    This is the 'cold fusion' of the tech industry.
  5. macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2007
    One thing I like about Apple is its elaborate use of materials in its products, from titanium and acrylic to the more recent aluminium and glass.

    Looking forward to see what they have in store for sapphire… and weren’t there also news about them working on liquid metal? Sounds like exciting stuff.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2009
  7. macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2013

    This really would be a massive technological breakthrough, especially for consumer electronics.
  8. macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2014
    New York
    Graphene is the next area of innovation for the entire world. It's potential is unreal.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    Right down Apples alley. "Thinner" is their primary innovated skill nowadays (litigating is up there too). Forget functionality, lets go all in on form.
  10. macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    After the stories about making graphene in a kitchen blender, how long after release until we see the inevitable "Does it re-blend?
  11. macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
  12. macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2010
    Is it bad if WWDC is my favorite day of the year? Every year?
  13. dannyyankou, May 15, 2014
    Last edited: May 15, 2014

    macrumors 601


    Mar 2, 2012
    Dear Apple,

    Please use this technology to improve battery life instead of making your already super thin devices any thinner.


    loyal iPhone user that just finished charging their phone for the second time today.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    Apple has this amazing ability to make products thinner and better in every way as demonstrated by their mass appeal and growing marketshare.

    Not sure what functionality you're expecting other than it just working as advertised.
  15. macrumors regular


    Aug 20, 2011
    Rubbed Out

    Article only mentions the good things about graphite without mentioning the one big draw back.
    An iPhone made of graphite can be rubbed out with any cheap eraser, such as the one on the end of a pencil.

    Think that's funny? You wait until you reach for your iPhone 8 only to find some kid has erased the RAM, ROM, and half the screen.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    I'm still skeptical about graphene after having read up on it a couple of months ago.

    It has had way too many people talking up its magical powers for so long with next to nothing to show for all the potential unicorns and rainbows.

    Don't get me wrong I would love to see this tech applied. But i'm not sure the manufacturing hurdles are full understood yet.
  17. macrumors 68020

    Jan 22, 2009
  18. macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Well then artists can draw with the phone, like charcoal artists do. And download porn at the same time in case they run out of creative ideas. Very innovative for sure.
  19. macrumors 603

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth

    your talking about the materials of a pencil here... How can it be stronger than anything ?

    All you gotta do is take an eraser to your iOS device, and poof.... it's gone..

    Now you see it,, now you don't :)

    Plus with bigger screen sizes, this wouldn't make sense. It started its "hard to make in mass" so maybe only flexible tech like iWatch ?
  20. macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2012
    Sebastopol, CA
    Please apple, don't make the iphone so thin that I am going to cut my fingers whenever I pick it up ;)
  21. macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
  22. macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2004
    Cold fusion never existed. Graphene is real, just an issue of manufacturing.

    So while you think this is a smart comment it just makes you look silly.

  23. macrumors 603

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    That's a oxymoron. ., you won't see it.
  24. macrumors regular


    Aug 20, 2011

    So lets say I have an iPhone just 1 atom thick ( which is presumably Apple's goal in all this ).

    If I tried to pick it up, would it cut my fingers off like the sharpest blade imaginable?

    Or would it just sort of slide in between my finger atoms and out of the other side, but without breaking any molecular bonds in my finger atoms, and not causing any harm or bleeding???

    Anyone here qualified to answer this for me?

    ( Either way I'll be queuing up on launch day anyway, just want to know what to expect )
  25. macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2010
    United States
    A big problem area with Graphene is that while it is stronger than steel, it is also very brittle and has a habit of shattering like glass with a point impact. Until that downside is solved, it probably won't make sense to introduce it in devices that routinely are dropped or are subject to impacts (like watches)

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