What are the seams for?

MikeyTree

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 5, 2007
295
0
The confirmation that the leaked iPhone is real makes me really curious what the seams on it are for. They seem to go against every Apple aesthetic, so I'm guessing that they're there for a functional reason. I just can't figure out what that function might be.

Any guesses?
 

ukwildcat

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2009
269
0
My guess is that since the phone is a prototype, the seams are there for easy dis-assembly. I don't think they will be there when the final product is released.

Maybe they were there for the covering that was supposedly around it to make it look like the 3gs?

Just guesses.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,911
1,196
Washington DC
The thing you're missing is that designing a device and mass producing a device are two totally different things.

Mr. Ives probably makes dozens of iPhones in his lab, using the tools he has available to him. Once they get it the way they like it THEN they work out how to manufacture it in a factory on a massive scale.

That's the point when issues like seams and screws come into play. So you'll have a lot of test devices made before it ever gets to that point.
 

Carniphage

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,878
0
Sheffield, England
The confirmation that the leaked iPhone is real makes me really curious what the seams on it are for. They seem to go against every Apple aesthetic, so I'm guessing that they're there for a functional reason. I just can't figure out what that function might be.

Any guesses?
The new phone is the first (to my knowledge) with an external enclosure made entirely of glass - and quite thick aluminum.




There is no plastic anywhere. Here's a guess. If you dropped it on a tiled floor, the 4th Gen phone is so rigid it would practically explode. Plastic would deform and absorb the energy of the fall.

If you look at the case component, these gaps in the case are filled with a black material. I think it is a rubber-like compound. The gaps serve to absorb energy on impact.

It seems like the seams are shock absorbers

C.
 

doubleatheman

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2009
628
0
I don't know what the seems are for, but I am realizing the holes in the metal plate between the battery and the screen is for battery ventilation. The holes are in the side for the battery. I don't think its an antenna as previously thought.
 

gloss

macrumors 601
May 9, 2006
4,811
0
around/about
Yeah, no....
Why, exactly? Can you disprove anything he said?

He's right, you know. A totally rigid device with brittle substances forming the front AND the back allows nowhere for the force to go but in. You'd risk shattering the phone every time you dropped it.
 

thelatinist

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2009
5,934
49
Connecticut, USA
There is no plastic anywhere. Here's a guess. If you dropped it on a tiled floor, the 4th Gen phone is so rigid it would practically explode. Plastic would deform and absorb the energy of the fall.

If you look at the case component, these gaps in the case are filled with a black material. I think it is a rubber-like compound. The gaps serve to absorb energy on impact.

It seems like the seams are shock absorbers
Was it you who suggested this last night in another thread? I actually tend to agree. A rigid aluminum case would/will transfer nearly all the energy of an edge-on impact to the glass front and back. The current plastic case absorbs the shock, deforms, and releases the energy back into the surface it strikes. I personally have dropped my 3GS on its edge and seen (in that sickening second of impact that I relived for days) the phone literally bounce off the concrete...indicating some sort of elastic rebound. If the same had happened with an aluminum case like this, I imagine the glass would take the brunt of the impact and might easily shatter.
 

mcdj

macrumors G3
Jul 10, 2007
8,900
4,092
NYC
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

Shock absorbers on a phone? Lol ok.
 

Revelation78

macrumors 68000
Dec 18, 2008
1,508
11
North Carolina
Why, exactly? Can you disprove anything he said?

He's right, you know. A totally rigid device with brittle substances forming the front AND the back allows nowhere for the force to go but in. You'd risk shattering the phone every time you dropped it.
So I should disprove his assumtion? Yeah, no....

For there to be "shock" absorbers it would need to be placed better and more frequently than what you see in the images. That's like saying a car only needs to have crumple zones on one corner of the vehicle to absorb damage from all angles/sides.

The plastic backing does not flex to provide "shock" absorbtion. The chrome bezel does not flex to provide "shock" absrobtion. If your or his theory were correct, my iPhone should have shattered months ago.

The back is not glass, if it were glass, no "shock" absorbtion would prevent it from being shattered on the first drop. Remember phones are not only dropped on their corners.

If you want a more thorough response just let me know that you are still unsure how the basic laws of gravity work and basic structural engineering.
 

mcruzader

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2008
151
0
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

Shock absorbers on a phone? Lol ok.
Why not, Mac Laptops have them on the harddrives....
 

Dr Kevorkian94

macrumors 68020
Jun 9, 2009
2,137
31
SI, NY
idk what they are but i think they look nice there im 50/50 with them there design wis but if they are in fact shock absorbers then thats great:D
 

gloss

macrumors 601
May 9, 2006
4,811
0
around/about
So I should disprove his assumtion? Yeah, no....

For there to be "shock" absorbers it would need to be placed better and more frequently than what you see in the images. That's like saying a car only needs to have crumple zones on one corner of the vehicle to absorb damage from all angles/sides.

The plastic backing does not flex to provide "shock" absorbtion. The chrome bezel does not flex to provide "shock" absrobtion. If your or his theory were correct, my iPhone should have shattered months ago.

The back is not glass, if it were glass, no "shock" absorbtion would prevent it from being shattered on the first drop. Remember phones are not only dropped on their corners.

If you want a more thorough response just let me know that you are still unsure how the basic laws of gravity work and basic structural engineering.
Because three seams are plenty to allow for the necessary flex to absorb a shock.

The plastic backing on the 3G and 3GS does indeed flex when the phone is dropped, which is the reason the device bounces the way it does on impact. If the plastic had absolutely no give, it would simply crack and shatter. I'm not saying it's easily deformed by a fingertip, but when handling the concentrated forces of a drop, yes, the casing is elastic.

It's been widely posited that the backing on this new device is made of zirconium, which, being a ceramic, is hard but brittle. Thus, it makes sense that the surrounding frame would be constructed to protect it as much as possible in the case of an edge-on impact, which are most common on these phones. The reason they're most common on these phones is because they tend to take a vertical orientation when dropped due to air resistance. The thing is not going to fall flat unless it's carefully dropped flat from a short distance. Given any time or height, it'll straighten out.

But thanks for your condescension.
 

Carniphage

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,878
0
Sheffield, England
For there to be "shock" absorbers it would need to be placed better and more frequently than what you see in the images. That's like saying a car only needs to have crumple zones on one corner of the vehicle to absorb damage from all angles/sides.
When you drop a cuboid, it always lands on one corner.
In terms of impact, the most damaging corners would be if the phone landed vertically. By being able to compress, the energy could be absorbed.

The two seams on the verticals could allow the case to deform by a good millimeter in the case of a vertical impact.

Such measures are not needed in a plastic case, because a plastic case would deform in a similar impact.

That's my theory. But it would be good to hear some more!

C.
 

gloss

macrumors 601
May 9, 2006
4,811
0
around/about
When you drop a cuboid, it always lands on one corner.
In terms of impact, the most damaging corners would be if the phone landed vertically. By being able to compress, the energy could be absorbed.

The two seams on the verticals could allow the case to deform by a good millimeter in the case of a vertical impact.

Such measures are not needed in a plastic case, because a plastic case would deform in a similar impact.

That's my theory. But it would be good to hear some more!

C.
Clearly, you also have a tenuous grasp of the laws of gravity and basic structural engineering. Welcome to the club. :D
 

Carniphage

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,878
0
Sheffield, England
Clearly, you also have a tenuous grasp of the laws of gravity and basic structural engineering. Welcome to the club. :D
I know enough to know that kinetic energy that gets turned quickly into heat, by means of deformation is going to reduce the deceleration shock on internal components. It's not tough physics.

You do realise that at some point we will get the real answer?

If you look at the large image of the case component - you can see the gaps are filled with a black non-metal rubber-looking material - which extends out to wrap around some internal components.

If that's not for shock absorption - what is it for?

C.
 

Revelation78

macrumors 68000
Dec 18, 2008
1,508
11
North Carolina
When you drop a cuboid, it always lands on one corner.
In terms of impact, the most damaging corners would be if the phone landed vertically. By being able to compress, the energy could be absorbed.

The two seams on the verticals could allow the case to deform by a good millimeter in the case of a vertical impact.

Such measures are not needed in a plastic case, because a plastic case would deform in a similar impact.

That's my theory. But it would be good to hear some more!

C.
Yes, the iPhone is a cuboid.... I also acknowledge it is more likely to land on a corner - point taken.

Clearly, you also have a tenuous grasp of the laws of gravity and basic structural engineering. Welcome to the club. :D
I know enough to know that kinetic energy that gets turned quickly into heat, by means of deformation is going to reduce the deceleration shock on internal components. It's not tough physics.

You do realise that at some point we will get the real answer?

If you look at the large image of the case component - you can see the gaps are filled with a black non-metal rubber-looking material - which extends out to wrap around some internal components.

If that's not for shock absorption - what is it for?

C.
When I saw a better picture that displayed more than a black spacer, I now believe the idea is plausible, yet I'm not entirely sold.
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,267
6,062
Toronto, ON
I'm not sure I buy this. Proponents of this theory, please address the following points:

1 - iPad is equally as likely to be dropped (maybe even more so because of its size) and it has a unibody frame without any seams. In fact, not only are the sides one piece of metal, the entire back is as well.

2 - Why 3 seams and not 2 or 1? Why is the top seam placed off to the side?

3 - The dock connector provides a point of shock absorption where vibrations resultant from a drop would dissipate to. No need for seams to accomplish this. If anything, if Apple wanted to create a shock absorption area, the bottom would be the best place as it would result in much less visible seams, keeping with Apple's clean designs.
 

mcruzader

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2008
151
0
yeah because the iPhone is chock full of moving parts like a hard drive.

???
Yeah so are ssd, thats why apple dosen't remove the shocks when customers buy an ssd. It could still be a shock absorber, have you ever gotten a case for a phone that acts as a shock absorber?
 
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