SCRATCHGATE, or how apple makes money.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pedrofan, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. pedrofan, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

    pedrofan macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2008
    Hardness of materials are measured by science in this list, that is called the Möhs scale. It says what scratches what:


    The material that scratches everything is the diamond, that is on the top, and can't be scratched by anything.

    The material that can't scratch anything is the talc, and it can be scratched by everything, that's why it is on the bottom.

    So, every material that is above another one can scratch it, more or less, like any other above.

    Aluminum is only in the third place!! with 2,5 points out of 10 in the Mohs scale, while the glass or steel have 6,5 points out of 10, that is A LOT harder.

    I don't know if the anodized aluminum is harder than normal aluminum, but this really means that iphone 5 is made of a material that can be scratched by almost ANYTHING. Even copper, that is present on most coins (pennies) and keys, with 3 points in the mohs scale can scratch aluminum, and steel as it is shown in this famous picture:

    Steel vs aluminum:


    This makes me think that Apple doesn't care of us at all. They make very fragile products to last less than a year.

    Iphone 4 and 4s where made of glass, that is so hard.. but also super ultra mega fragile!! One fall one broken iphone, just look for iphone 4 crash tests on youtube... Iphone 4 was the condomized phone, you couldn't use it without protection.

    Iphone 5 is made of a more resistant material against falls, but it is super soft!!

    Do you think that apple engineers don't know this??

    Mmmhh I don't think so. The faster your iphone looks ugly or broken, the faster you are going to buy a new one.

    That is called marketing, aggressive marketing.
  2. iAi macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2012
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I used my iPhone 4 without a case... no problems
    I used my iPhone 4s without a case... still no problems
    I am currently using my iPhone 5 without a case... hmmm, no problems

    I see a pattern here

    I buy new phones because I want the new phone and its capabilities
    Not because my current one looks ugly now :rolleyes:

    I buy my phones to use
    Not to resell
    And not to put in a museum
  4. Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    What I take from this list is that Sheetrock is just slightly more fragile than the iPhone 5.:D Awesome.
  5. smellysox8 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2012
    Good for you. That's not going to make the OP any happier.
  6. Bahroo macrumors 68000

    Jul 21, 2012
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
  8. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Another conspiracy theory, luv it!

    Am going to go with (1) Apple spoiled u by charging u lots of money, telling u how cool their stuff are, sell it to you in a jewelry-like packaging, even have employees cheer u on as you walk out with this object of desire then SCRATCH! This is Apple's fault by selling u high expectations.

    (2) Jobs is not around anymore to stop the conveyor belt when everything is not perfect. <sight>

    Paraphrasing Beyonce: Put a Case on It!
  9. pedrofan, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

    pedrofan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2008
    I give you science and... proofs ... and you give me .... what?
  10. vipJj123 macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Op has a point. Now I cant believe Apple doesn't make the iPhone out of diamonds. At least I wouldn't have to worry about scratches. (I wouldn't be able to afford it though).
  11. itjw macrumors 65816

    Dec 20, 2011
    Bb..b.but what about MY resale??? I deserve perfection since I spent so much of mommy's money. That Ive guy promised me a "cosmetically flawless phone, out of the box, that would never, EVER scratch or show defects.... EVER" and that's a QUOTE (don't check me on that).

    I only buy phones for museums and resale. What about ME???

    Won't someone PLEASE think of the children!?!?

  12. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    Phone scratches, fine.

    Phone scratched and dented before you even peel the plastic off the screen. Not fine.
  13. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
  14. pedrofan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2008
    Hardened steel is 8 out of 10, vs 2,5 of the aluminum. Glass 6,5 like normal steel.
    Aluminum, on a phone, that is all the day in contact with other materials on the pocket, and it is so likely to be fallen on any type of ground... is a real mediocre material.


    Yes is speculation, the correct answer is the number.
  15. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    It will happen. Just a matter of time. The OPs point is well made and factual.
    While your experience is good so far your iPhone will eventually get damaged.
  16. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    A diamond blade is the only practical material used to cut diamond. But you would be surprised to find out if you try to cut aluminum or any soft metal with diamond, the diamond blade will instantly become dull and worn out. Metal kills diamond!!

    Soft metals scratch easily but have more toughness - which means they can endure more impact without fatally warping, whereas glass, which has a pretty high hardness, shatters easily. Now plastic on the other hand can be much tougher than metal in many cases (think about how often rubbermaid or tupperware bins break compared to your iphone 4).

    Ideally apple should make your phone out of non-stainless steel for scratch resistance, toughness, strength, and recyclebility. But then people would complain about tetanus viruses. Well maybe they should use plastic, then people say it's cheap even though it's strong as heck. Maybe they should use glass because it looks nice, well then people think it shatters easily. Maybe they should use titanium, but then people will say it's heavy. Well aluminum apparently feels premium to people because it's used in high end notebooks, that's why they went with aluminum.
  17. Rocko1 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2011
    Apple chose non-tempered 6061 aluminum for 3 reasons. 1) Machineability. It's very easy to machine into intricate shapes. 2)Weight. It's very light. 3)Price. It is one of the least expensive aluminum's. The downside is that using this material in a product that will see a lot of use is not ideal if keeping it looking presentable is a goal. It is easily dented, scratched and bent. Using a tempered version of the 6061 such as 6061-T6 would have doubled the aluminum's strength and negated much, but not all of the scratches and or bending.
  18. DioFan, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2012

    DioFan macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2012
  19. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    East Coast
    True dat. However, MacDawg's point stands .. he doesn't care if it gets scratched. Nor do I. These are tools; things that go out into reality every day and get banged around. If they get scratched or scuffed, that's life. I'd prefer it doesn't happen and have case, screen protector, and Applecare if the worst comes to pass. But I don't live my life by worrying about <oh shudder> the back of my phone got long as it still works.

    But yes, from a materials characteristics standpoint the OP is correct. Now, if he can just work out a manufacturing process that can acquire and work the harder materials and not raise the price to beyond the market target, he'll be on to something.
  20. Rocko1 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2011
    Leo Laporte the Tech Guy said he can't beleive how easily his iphone scratches. It's not if your iPhone will scratch, it's when and how much.
  21. Lyshen macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    I think OP is correct in that it sucks to have aluminum be so soft compared to other materials.

    But Vistadude is correct in that, no matter what material is used, there will be downsides. Cost / durability / weight / strength

    I thought, what about a hybrid material, but then the cost easily goes up...

    Or make the anodize thicker but still run into same issue of scratch-ability.

    So the question is, what material to use that people won't complain about?
  22. TheWheelMan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    What I take from this post is ridiculousness. Aggressive ridiculousness.
  23. hotsauce macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2005
  24. Bahroo macrumors 68000

    Jul 21, 2012
    OP fails to realize that it still is tougher then most phones out right now, defitnetly tougher then the plastic Android phones out. Plus with good care it will remain in great condition. You say aluminum sucks? You know what sucks more? The glass back that gets hairline scratches even if you baby it or when it shatters then you have to replace it. Everyone bitched about the glass back now its no glass anymore and people still bitch
  25. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Impossible. People will complain about anything. If they switch to a higher grade metal, people will complain because it weighs more than the previous iPhone. It is literally impossible to please every single person. Even if apple gave multiple choices of materials with each iPhone release, there would be many people that hate every single one of them.

    If you're worried about resale, buy AppleCare+ (in the states at least) and replace it before you sell it.

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