Apple's chassis maker hints at a much tougher alloy for the iPhone 6s design

Apple's chassis maker hints at a much tougher alloy for the iPhone 6s design
The new Galaxy S6 and S6 edge use a grade 6013 aluminum alloy, while most other smartphones, including the iPhone 6/6 Plus, make do with a derivative of the inferior 6063 grade, which fact was used in one of the more scientific explanations about the 6 Plus #bendgate phenomenon. 

While 6013 is not the highest end 7075, it is in-between, and is still used to make things that need to be light and durable, like plane fuselage, cars, yachts, mountain bikes, and so on. In fact, the 6013 aluminum is 1.5 times stronger and 1.2 times more scratch-resistant than the type of aluminum used in the current iPhones.

That is all about to change, though, judging from a slip-of-the-tongue remark by Catcher, one of the leading producers of metal chassis, which is also behind HTC's renowned unibody designs, for instance, as well as the thin and light bodies of the iPad line. Catcher Technologies’ Allen Horng revised the company's outlook for next quarter from flat to upward, citing new orders for smartphone and notebook chassis: "Thanks to the smoother production and strong orders for metal casings for new projects, we now forecast the next quarter will be better than this quarter.”

Wait, "new" projects? With most flagships already announced, Mr Horng might very well be referring to the upcoming iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which, if all goes as usual, should be entering their final production preparations as we speak. Adding water to that particular rumor mill is the fact that Catcher's CEO reported about issues with scaling an innovative process for one of its smartphone clients, which involves "a surface treatment on a harder metallic material [that is] is more difficult than traditional metal-casing processes, and would lower the yield rate at the beginning of the production cycle."

Lo and behold, what could that be? Could it be that Apple might be using the top-shelf 7000-series aluminum for the chassis of the upcoming iPhones this time, as speculated before? It might, as the 7000-series qualifies for that same "harder metallic material" that Mr Huang is worried about. For the curious, 7075 aluminum has zinc as the primary alloying element, and is used in bikes, inline skating frames, climbing equipment, and even the M16 rifle, due to the fact that it has almost the tensile strength of steel, while remaining very light and durable. If Catcher is indeed using it to polish Apple handset chassis units, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus might be one of the toughest aluminum unibody phones made to this point, beating the Galaxy S6 in the process.

source: TaipeiTimes via G4Games 

FEATURED VIDEO

36 Comments

1. DBounce

Posts: 169; Member since: Apr 26, 2014

Then expect a hefty price bump for the next iPhone. Machining 7075 takes longer. Also the raw material is more expensive.

3. iosl0ver5eva

Posts: 119; Member since: Jan 16, 2015

you're a fool if you really think apple will charge more. Did samsung charge more when they went from cheap plastic to glass and metal? just stop troll

17. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Canada pricing : Samsung S5 when its came out was 200$ Samsung S6 is 250$ Ofcourse Apple will increase pricing they need to increase the margin they make on each phone every year. You are the fool if you dont know this.

22. ph00ny

Posts: 2026; Member since: May 26, 2011

32GB for both?

24. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

They probably will, and it might not even be 7000 series. It will be the next most cheapest version above the 6013 (6014?) and they will market it to all the iFans who will spread their gospel like idiots without knowing anything about it.

26. cheetah2k

Posts: 2220; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

The only fool is the one who continues to buy icrapppp :D

4. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Probably not. First, Apple is legendary for their supply chain negotiations. Second, they've got enough padding in their margins to absorb this (if it's even true). The landscape is too competitive for them to price themselves out of it. Maybe a tiny increase. What's more interesting is this is yet another tacit admission that the 6/6+ had bending issues, much more widespread than they admitted publicly.

18. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

They allready priced out of it. Maybe in the US price are similar but anywhere else they are overpriced. 350$ for a 16 gb iphone 6 on 2 year contract here in Canada. 230$ for a 5S on same 2 year contract. This is a joke when you have : Note 4 = 200$ 2 years. S6 = 200$ 2 years. S6 edge = 350$ ( overpriced as well ) M9 = 150$ 2 years. I could go on all day the iphone is overpriced! Apple will never absorb the cost they will increase the pricing.

20. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They're obviously not priced out of the market or they wouldn't sell tens of millions per quarter.

30. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Ha, the s6 edge does as the hard to make screen and as limited stock, soviets not that bad

12. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Why worry? Apple's just going to add $300 for the tough metal, that's a small price to pay for the apple experience right?

14. waddup121 unregistered

This is good.

27. cheetah2k

Posts: 2220; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

This is just like everything else in the iphone 6. Weak chassis tech from 2010, weak camera from 2011, screen tech from 2011.. Buy an apple at a premium price, but get all the cheap sh1t that comes with it LOLOLOL

31. jalebi2000

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

i think that the 7000 series metal is gonna be for the 6s plus

2. gaming64 unregistered

As long as the S model wont bend.

5. tnuc2014

Posts: 294; Member since: Sep 12, 2014

New casing material, new 12MP camera, new screen (FHD / Force Touch / Both); are there enough meaningful changes here to warrant a jump to iPhone 7?Either that or half of these things won't emerge in September.

7. LiquidGalaxy

Posts: 332; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

It's not the 7, it's the 6s - and for the last 4 iterations of iPhone the 's' model only comes with a few minor changes. How big is the rock you're living under?

11. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

There was a rumour that Apple was going to skip the 6s name and jump straight to the iPhone 7 thus time but it came from a crappy source. I doubt it's true. But I think that's what tunic was referring to.

8. AppleJuice

Posts: 145; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

I doubt the Full HD screen.

28. cheetah2k

Posts: 2220; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

No way, they cant do a full HD screen.. It would make it harder for apple to display those app icons... And imagine the screen lag, the apple CPU would crap itself... hahahahahahaha

10. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

It's Apple so half won't emerge, it's not that force touch and a 12mp camera with smaller pixels is that great either. Also, they already have blind sheep giving their 750p display a 10/10 and talking about Retina HD like the term is something special rather than the complete joke that it is. I doubt they would throw that but if marketing magic away and give them a display that's actually good.

29. cheetah2k

Posts: 2220; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Anything better than 750p would lag. Apple know it. that's why they keep screen resolution low.. so the i5heep think their phones are faster than android handsets with QHD....

6. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

I don't water my eyes with it Apple can't even remove those bezels and Apple using high end product have Apple's CEO have changed recently?

9. LiquidGalaxy

Posts: 332; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

What?

13. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I agree with liquid galaxy. WHAT?

15. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

I agree with both of you what the f**k I wrote!!! Ok Apple don't even put gorilla glass on iPhones why anyone ever think that they're going to use high end materials?

16. Tizo101

Posts: 524; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

Taking all this in with a huge cup of salt and disappointment on the side.

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Should've already had this Apple.

21. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Wow, so Apple is implicitly impelling that there was an issue when it came to what is know as "Bend-gate". Well at least they are going to address the issue but it is really a little to late for those who purchased their iP6 and iP6plus .

23. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Yet they still won't fix their fragile screen

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.