Why glass?

mazz0

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2011
1,575
774
Leeds, UK
Sorry if this has been asked and answered before (I'm sure it has), but why do they need a glass back on the iPhones from 4 onwards? It makes sense when the antennae (is that the plural of antenna?) are on the inside, but if the metal bands are the antennae then what's it matter what the rest of the case is made of?
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,899
3,419
Boston, MA
I am sure there are a multitude of reasons; aesthetics, cost, ease of manufacture, etc. While it does crack more easily than plastics, it is pretty cheap to replace if you ever need to, so I can't say that I mind it.
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,546
Sorry if this has been asked and answered before (I'm sure it has), but why do they need a glass back on the iPhones from 4 onwards? It makes sense when the antennae (is that the plural of antenna?) are on the inside, but if the metal bands are the antennae then what's it matter what the rest of the case is made of?
The antennas on the outside are just for the cellphone, not Wifi, GPS, or Bluetooth.


Yes that's the plural :) good boy
It depends on where you live. In North America, "antennas" is used for the metal receiver, and "antennae" for the insect appendage. British English usually doesn't make that distinction, and uses "antennae" for both.


Well in a month or so looks like we will get the new iphone without a glass back.
Well, not fully glass. There are still glass windows on the top and bottom.
 

Indy21

macrumors 6502
Mar 24, 2008
376
0
I figured Steve bought to much glass and needed to get rid of it. The more iPhones break and they can fix for $99 the more money they make on all the extra glass sitting in warehouse.






...kidding of course.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
The antennas on the outside are just for the cellphone, not Wifi, GPS, or Bluetooth.
Moreover, the outside trim is only part of the cell antennas.

Apparently, the trim and the boards inside create a form of slot antennas at the top and bottom, from what I have read from antenna experts.

It depends on where you live. In North America, "antennas" is used for the metal receiver, and "antennae" for the insect appendage. British English usually doesn't make that distinction, and uses "antennae" for both.
+1

Well, not fully glass. There are still glass windows on the top and bottom.
Or plastic. Apple patented a process for seamless material butting, wherein they put some kind of glue between them that covers the gap, or something like that. Anyone have that patent handy to see what materials it covers?
 

virginblue4

macrumors 68000
Apr 15, 2012
1,922
455
United Kingdom

Gjwilly

macrumors 68030
May 1, 2011
2,872
513
SF Bay Area
Or plastic. Apple patented a process for seamless material butting, wherein they put some kind of glue between them that covers the gap, or something like that. Anyone have that patent handy to see what materials it covers?
The patent is for plastic.
They machine the edges of the metal a certain way so that when they pour in the liquid plastic it bonds to the metal forming a strong and virtually seamless join.
 

AAPLinc

macrumors 65816
Jul 27, 2012
1,292
2
Hollywood, CA
Because it looks gorgeous, and it's unlike all the cheap flimsy plastic backs of various other phones. Even though many hate the glass, I love it. Makes the phone so solid feeling in your hand.

From the leaks, it seems Apple will be ditching the glass for the next iPhone, since so many people (who had naked iphones, tsk tsk ;)) had problems with the glass shattering.
 

mazz0

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2011
1,575
774
Leeds, UK
So it sounds like they stopped using the steel band for some of the antennae after the problems with the iPhone 4 in low signal areas, so there are some internal antennae in the new iPhone hence the glass windows. Wouldn't it have been better to keep the antennae external and simply apply an insulative coating?
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,243
1,265
The worse thing was the plasticy feeling of the 3GS, and that one had cracking issues without ever even dropping the device. At least with this glass back, I've never had it randomly crack on its own!
 

Ddyracer

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2009
1,783
31
The worse thing was the plasticy feeling of the 3GS, and that one had cracking issues without ever even dropping the device. At least with this glass back, I've never had it randomly crack on its own!
It does feel gross. I do miss the chrome look and wish it was on the 4s. Maybe Apple will bring it back.
 

rgarjr

macrumors 603
Apr 2, 2009
6,486
337
Southern California
The worse thing was the plasticy feeling of the 3GS, and that one had cracking issues without ever even dropping the device. At least with this glass back, I've never had it randomly crack on its own!
Yep, the 3GS was prone to developing some big nasty cracks.

It does feel gross. I do miss the chrome look and wish it was on the 4s. Maybe Apple will bring it back.
Chrome scratches real easy sometimes even by wiping with cloth.