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Do you prefer aluminium or stainless steel sides?

  • Aluminium

    Votes: 141 49.6%
  • Stainless steel

    Votes: 143 50.4%

  • Total voters
    284

therealMasa

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 13, 2021
99
203
Firstly, aluminium is actually three times more expensive than steel, so it's ironic stainless steel is reserved for the premium models. Aluminium is also lighter, which as iPhones grow bigger and thicker would keep the weight down.

Perhaps Apple feel the shiny stainless steel looks more premium, but I've always been more impressed with the anodized aluminium sides on iPhones. The stainless steel wasn't too bad on the rounded corners on the X/XS/11 Pro but on the new flat edges it turns into a disaster within seconds of handling your phone. It completely subverts the premium image that Apple is aiming for.

I've seen a lot consumers wishing for matte sides on the Pro & Pro Max models. Even matte steel would be better but I'd still take aluminium out of the two.

Is there any chance that Apple will use aluminium sides on the iPhone 13 Pro & Pro Max models or we stuck with steel?
 

StaceyMJ86

macrumors demi-goddess
Sep 22, 2015
8,184
14,525
Washington, DC
Me personally if Apple switched to Aluminum sides on the Pro models, I would never purchase another Pro model. The Stainless Steel feel more premium in the hand than aluminum. Plus what they charge for the Pro models, I would never pay that for aluminum. My 12 Pro Max don’t feel any heavier than my XS Max. I’ve also switched from using bulky cases (stopped after X) to thin cases which don’t add any extra weight to my phone.
 

macOS Lynx

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2019
386
555
Makes no sense when aluminium is a more premium material. You've fallen for marketing hype.
Based on what?

Stainless Steel is stronger, less corrosive, less malleable, and while cost by weight aluminum is more expensive, cost by volume (the number that matters), steel is much more expensive.

not to mention part of something being premium is what society and culture dictate as premium, and the general consensus of society is that stainless steel is a more premium material than aluminum.
 

StaceyMJ86

macrumors demi-goddess
Sep 22, 2015
8,184
14,525
Washington, DC
Makes no sense when aluminium is a more premium material. You've fallen for marketing hype.

I have iPhones with aluminum sides and iPhones with stainless steel and the aluminum feels less premium compared to the stainless steel. To me it also looks better on an iPhone. Now to me for the Apple Watch it’s the same thing in regards to the aluminum and stainless steel.
 

therealMasa

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 13, 2021
99
203
Based on what?

Stainless Steel is stronger, less corrosive, less malleable, and while cost by weight aluminum is more expensive, cost by volume (the number that matters), steel is much more expensive.

not to mention part of something being premium is what society and culture dictate as premium, and the general consensus of society is that stainless steel is a more premium material than aluminum.

Aluminium has better thermal conductivity and dissipates heat faster than steel. Aluminium sides also don't like look a mushy mess within seconds of holding the phone.

Like I said, people fell for marketing hype and think the shinier the phone the more premium it must be.
 

Closingracer

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2010
4,314
1,849
Aluminium has better thermal conductivity and dissipates heat faster than steel. Aluminium sides also don't like look a mushy mess within seconds of holding the phone.

Like I said, people fell for marketing hype and think the shinier the phone the more premium it must be.

Then go buy an iPhone 12 and be done with it. I prefer steel
 

ghanwani

macrumors 601
Dec 8, 2008
4,720
5,989
I think it would have been good to do a poll on the question —

would you prefer aluminum or stainless steel on pro models?(yes/no)

To those saying “just buy the 12”, I think the point of this thread was wanting pro features like size/camera in aluminum.

It’s a legitimate question, but better answered by a poll. Because of the potential for fights, many people won’t post.
 

The-Real-Deal82

macrumors P6
Jan 17, 2013
16,722
24,542
Wales, United Kingdom
Me personally if Apple switched to Aluminum sides on the Pro models, I would never purchase another Pro model. The Stainless Steel feel more premium in the hand than aluminum. Plus what they charge for the Pro models, I would never pay that for aluminum. My 12 Pro Max don’t feel any heavier than my XS Max. I’ve also switched from using bulky cases (stopped after X) to thin cases which don’t add any extra weight to my phone.

So what gives you the perception that stainless steel is more premium than 7000 series aluminium? Marketing? You mention ‘for the price’ but on what basis is SS more expensive than aluminium?
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors P6
Mar 19, 2008
15,967
35,278
I'm amazed that Pro phone users don't want the weight to get reduced.

I was playing with a friends 12 Pro Max the other day and - my god - it was literally like a patio paver

I would never even dream of carrying that brick around all the time.
No clue how you guys do it
 

circatee

Contributor
Nov 30, 2014
4,450
3,012
Like someone else stated, give me an iPhone 4, in the size of an iPhone 12 Pro Max, and there will be no trouble!
Back then, I used to roll with no case. Now, I would not be caught dead with a $1300 phone with no case. Ugh, I shiver at the thought...
 

The-Real-Deal82

macrumors P6
Jan 17, 2013
16,722
24,542
Wales, United Kingdom
I work in an industry that consumes thousands of tonnes of both stainless steel and aluminium and when it comes to preferences on my devices i’ll opt for aluminium all day long. It’s just an all round better material on so many different levels. It’s light, strong, energy efficient and 100% recyclable.

When it comes to cost you’ll find medical grade stainless is roughly the same cost as 7000 series alloys. Apple market’s stainless as being more premium but really it’s just ‘shinier’ and you’re paying more because it takes slightly longer to machine and process. Apple’s marketing machine works a dream and here we have people promoting it without really knowing the background lol. Love it, and love the fact aluminium devices are priced lower
 

therealMasa

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 13, 2021
99
203
I think it would have been good to do a poll on the question —

would you prefer aluminum or stainless steel on pro models?(yes/no)

To those saying “just buy the 12”, I think the point of this thread was wanting pro features like size/camera in aluminum.

It’s a legitimate question, but better answered by a poll. Because of the potential for fights, many people won’t post.

I've added a poll now :)
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 601
Dec 8, 2008
4,720
5,989
I work in an industry that consumes thousands of tonnes of both stainless steel and aluminium and when it comes to preferences on my devices i’ll opt for aluminium all day long. It’s just an all round better material on so many different levels. It’s light, strong, energy efficient and 100% recyclable.

When it comes to cost you’ll find medical grade stainless is roughly the same cost as 7000 series alloys. Apple market’s stainless as being more premium but really it’s just ‘shinier’ and you’re paying more because it takes slightly longer to machine and process. Apple’s marketing machine works a dream and here we have people promoting it without really knowing the background lol. Love it, and love the fact aluminium devices are priced lower
Since you work in the field -- what is the difference between medical grade and marine grade?

Since you mention recyclability in favor of aluminum -- is stainless steel not 100% recyclable?
 

snipr125

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2015
1,838
2,877
UK
For me personally, purely based on aesthetics/feel and not taking into account costs of aluminium and steel:

Brushed Matte Stainless steel like the Iphone 4 > Matte Aluminium on the 12 and 12 mini > Polished Steel on the 12 Pro and Max.

Edit: I would put the steel rails, especially in Silver, on the X, XS and 11 Pro, equal or maybe slightly better than the the Matte Aluminium rails on the 12 and 12 mini.

I am just not a fan of the polished steel on the 12 Pros, they just look too chromy in my opinion (apart from the Graphite which is nice).
 
Last edited:
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