Graphene May Be Next Area of Innovation for Apple and Samsung

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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.
To unlock that potential, the world's biggest electronics makers are turning to researchers such as Hong Byung Hee, a professor at Seoul National University, who's developed a patent for mass-producing graphene-based displays.

"Global technology companies are facing innovation limits in hardware and design, and in order to step over to the next level, they need to adopt new materials like graphene," Hong said in an interview. "Our key graphene technology is receiving considerable interest from firms including Apple, Samsung and even Google."
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
 

LeoNobilis

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Apr 24, 2006
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[url=http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif]Image[/url]


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.

YouTube: video
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
Forget Apple. Innovation and Apple of late don't go together. Things aren't what they were ten years ago.
 
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SethBoy

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2007
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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.
 

Macboy Pro

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2011
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Right down Apples alley. "Thinner" is their primary innovated skill nowadays (litigating is up there too). Forget functionality, lets go all in on form.
 

dannyyankou

macrumors G3
Mar 2, 2012
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Dear Apple,

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


Sincerely,

loyal iPhone user that just finished charging their phone for the second time today.
 
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wigby

macrumors 68000
Jun 7, 2007
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Right down Apples alley. "Thinner" is their primary innovated skill nowadays (litigating is up there too). Forget functionality, lets go all in on form.
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.
 

SmoMo

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2011
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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.
 

TsunamiTheClown

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Apr 28, 2011
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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.
 

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
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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.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
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2008 called, they want their headline back.
lol

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 ?
 

SmoMo

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2011
205
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2d

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 )
 

thatisme

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2010
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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)