iPhone engineering that different from others?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by satchmo, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Aug 6, 2008
    Not being an industrial designer or engineer, I'd love to know if Apple's engineering feats are truly more difficult than other smartphone manufacturers.

    How is it that Samsung, Sony and HTC etc. are able to crank out multiple devices with seemingly few problems (maybe they do, but I don't visit SamsungRumors.com)

    Meanwhile at Apple, it's one issue or another with the 5.5" iPhone's display or TouchID sensors.

    Are Apple's specs, that much more demanding? Are they truly pushing the envelope from an engineering standpoint. Or is it purely marketing spin to justify Apple's premium prices.
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Because Apple operates under the concept of "getting it right". If you notice, Apple is not always "first". In fact they are downright slow sometimes to do things. But when they do, it's done right.

    It's not that it's any more difficult for Apple than it is for other manufacturers, but Apple does not subscribe to "good enough".

    It's the difference between quantity and quality. Go with Android/Windows Mobile if you want high volume.
  3. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    Do you have any evidence that the iPhone has more problems that its competitors? Maybe the spin is in the other direction.

    (I'm not implying that I know what the answer is.)

    Apple routinely tops reliability ratings, often by large margins.
  4. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    As an engineer I can tell you that yes Apple is the company which pushes the envelope of engineering.

    Apple's touch ID sensors use a technology that has never been used before in a production fingerprint sensor and it's brand new to the world. It allows for more accurate readings and readings without swiping the finger, and instead reads the whole finger at once which is faster and more accurate.

    Generally any problem they have had has been related to either them pushing the envelope or to the fact that their products are in such high demand compared to other manufacturers that they have problems meeting supplies.
  5. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Apple don't have "more" problems - but they do openly fix them when they find them. E.g. the 5S battery and sleep wake buttons. Even then, if you consider the insane amount of devices out there, the number with problems works out to be a very small percent.

    I agree with the "better rather than first", however, apple can do both.

    - There were touch screen phones before the iPhone, but they were all rubbish
    - There were fingerprint readers before TouchID, but none worked reliably
    - There have been NFC payment enabled phones before, but I would bet every penny I own that when Apple finally does it, it will be adopted incredibly quickly

    On the other hand, Apple were the first to launch a consumer device with a HiDPI display (they were the first in phones, first in tablets and first in computers).
  6. Shanghaichica macrumors G3


    Apr 8, 2013
    And next we will hear that there were large screened phones before the iPhone but they were rubbish.
  7. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Well said.

    I also think you hear less about other manufacturers issues because none of them are as large as Apple or have a product as big as the iPhone. Apple is very popular in mainstream media so their issues will also be more publicly criticized.
  8. Gathomblipoob macrumors 601


    Mar 18, 2009
    I posted this in another thread, but it's relevant here as well:

    True. When Apple sneezes, the media runs for a Kleenex.

    Remember the press conference called in response to "antennagate"? That was broadcast live on TV. Jeesh.
  9. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    If I had £1 for every time I'd heard "You're holding it wrong" ;)
  10. Gathomblipoob macrumors 601


    Mar 18, 2009
    Agreed. It's practically a meme now.
  11. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Which part of the engineering process are we talking about?

    Apple does the design. Then they use competing manufacture parts that are assembled in fatalities that assemble competing smartphones.

    Samsung isn't more effort into the manufacturing of the A7 processor as they do there own. And the guy at Foxconn isn't trying to do his job better then he does on other phones.
  12. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    The same RF fingerprint sensor technology has been around since before the turn of the century. The real breakthrough was in cost, apparently.

    I disagree. In fact, it took a long while before the iPhone could do most of what previous smartphones could do (3G, GPS, video, MMS, 3rd party apps, Slingbox viewing, etc).

    Not in phones, at least.

    The Toshiba G900... available for sale at about the same time as the original iPhone in mid 2007... was the first high DPI smartphone (WVGA with 312 PPI).

    It also had a fingerprint sensor, 3G, Opera browser, and a front-facing camera for video calls.

    Other HiDPI displays that predate the 2010 iPhone 4 include the 2008 Sony Xperia X1 (312 PPI) and the 2009 Samsung Jet (301 PPI).
  13. Hexiii macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2011
    Prague, Czech Republic
    I think he meant just the display itself, not the whole phone.

    Actually... Apple does more than the design. Do you think that you just draw a device and then email it to the manufacturing company? Apple plays a huge role in the manufacturing process.
  14. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Ah, thanks, you're right. He meant the touch screen itself.

    I didn't mind the resistive screens, myself. Not only could you use them with regular gloves on, but of course you could also easily sketch detailed diagrams with the included stylus. I used to do that quite often before heading out to Home Depot.

  15. satchmo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 6, 2008
    I guess I'm harking back to the videos Apple plays at these keynotes. You know those showing unibody aloo-minium being milled and talking about tolerances.

    So while understand Apple does the design, I suppose I'm asking if the specs are unique or so demanding that employers at Foxconn are literally killing themselves or them.:(
    Surely Samsung, Sony etc.. have similar challenges.
  16. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    I did indeed mean the screen.

    I have bad memories trying to use an O2 XDA thing with Windows Mobile's tiny keyboard and stylus.
  17. Naramis macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2013
    Oh, Samsung has plenty of products with design flaw..
    Galaxy S1 GPS never worked properly.. S3 has sudden death syndrome..
    And these weren't isolated problems, most if not all units of these phones were affected. You don't hear about these as much as, say, antennagate, because they're simply less popular than the iPhone
  18. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Unique in the sense of quantity, when Apple places an order its typically in high volume.

    This is a story from a few years ago,

    Apple causes NAND shortage in Asia

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