Thursday, 25 October 2012

Is the iPhone Screen Scratch Resistant? The Hype and the Reality of Apple Consumer Electronics

The iPhone 4 might settle the point as to whether the iPhone screen scratch resistant features really work. Its Aluminosilicate glass feature is a real bonus. Gorilla glass is all the rage when it comes to mobile devices today. According to Dell Streak, it is virtually indestructible (within reason). Corning argues that their creation can withstand most types of pressure associated with normal usage and the mobile phone market has taken marketing presentation to heart. However we must seriously consider whether iPhones can really stand the pressure of everyday use.

The technical construction of brittle glass
Dr. Donnell Walton is an engineer representing Corning and is responsible for explaining the genesis of this feature. He argues that the strength of the brittle materials used can withstand compression effectively but tend to collapse when there is tension. Unfortunately iPhones manufactured in the last few years have not been able to withstand the pressure when the Apple gadget is dropped. Gorilla glass is a step-up in that respect and offers new opportunities for the manufacturer as well as the mobile phone market in general.   

The iPhone 4 holds the promise of durable screen glass
The Apple brand has put out information to the effect that their new screen is 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than ordinary plastic. In addition they promised a screen that was remarkably scratch-resistant as a consequence of the use of aluminosilicate glass during the manufacturing process. If imitation is the highest form of flattery then Corning should be pleased because that is the same model that Apple uses in their production process. Under consumer testing, the iPhone 4 survived a 3.5 foot drop twice in succession but then cracked when a third attempt was made. Corning argues that they can beat that result.
The iPhone 5 promises even stronger glass screens
The jury is out on the ET Trade Supply leak of the purported iPhone 5 screen. Apparently it measures 0.1 mm thinner than the iPhone 4S. However the yet-unconfirmed rumors point to its superior scratch resistance. The moral of the story is that you should not drop your Apple iPhone more than 3 times or longer than 3 feet. In any case if it scratches, a coat of Turtle Wax will minimize the ugly appearance but leave the screen susceptible to unseemly fingerprint marks. The 3M scratch remover and Displex are some of the alternatives that could be considered. Those with the requisite DIY skills can try buffing using a cerium oxide compound. There is a preventative approach which is achieved by using a screen protector film. 

Some concluding remarks on the iPhone and scratches
To some extent Apple products such as the iPhone 4S and the anticipated iPhone 5 offer the possibility of a scratch-free life. However there is a limit to their capabilities. For example they will crack if the drop is significant or repeated several times. The concept of an iPhone screen scratch resistant feature has its limitations. However there are some remedies that can rescue the situation.

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