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iPhone Turns 10

While the iPhone turns 10 in a few months (June 29th 2017) the iPhone 7 underwhelmed while the iPhone 5SE remains the best one to get for now! 

The iPhone 7 missing more than the headphone jack! 

Wireless Charging, included in many other phones! I installed a Qi stick into the back of my Note 3 and charge it on one of two Qi docks at our home. Likewise, my Kyocera Brigadier has integrated OEM wireless Qi charging which I use with the aforementioned wireless charging docks.

Super Speed Charging include in many other phones, also known as Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 it offers remarkably fast charging performance in newer android phones but not the iPhone 7!

Sapphire Screen (even the camera lens cover is only sapphire over glass, not pure sapphire) 
Even though Apple purchased a synthetic sapphire manufacturing firm they failed to user a pure sapphire lens cover on their iPhone 7's while the screen glass is still chemically hardened glass, not sapphire. My Kyocera Brigadier has a pure synthetic sapphire screen cover by comparison!

OLED (even though the Apple watch sports a 1000nit model) 

Perhaps the most glaring omission. OLED uses up to 60% less power than LED/LCD, while also rendering pure black better. OLED can dim much better which is advantage for night time use. The battery life on the iPhone 8 will improve substantially with Super Advanced AMOLED technology now well matured after many iterations of refinement by Sony, Philips, Samsung and LG.

Apple has been working closely with Samsung since long before the launch of the original iPhone, namely for the SOC and related phone components in the iPhone models over the years. Samsung has moved hundreds of millions of smartphones with OLED screens during this time.

OLED does not hold up well like LCD over long periods of use. LED LCD is a more mature technology that can produce remarkably bright screens for use in direct sun, though more light per pixel or reflective pixels that use the sun advantageously will always be welcome additions,

Rugged Build 

Glass + Metal in a handheld device for field use sounds elegant but fragile, a reality reflect in the super common screen breaking drop accidents that plague smartphone users with expensive repair bills. Kyocera used lots of different plastics with a sapphire screen in my 2014 Brigadier on Verizon. I put it in a plastic protective case to add impact protection!

The iPhone 5, 5S and 5SE have a much more robust design than iPhone 6, 6S and 7! Meg has her iPhone 5SE mounted in a Wood protective case to enhance its real word endurance & aesthetic feeling simultaneously. The one hand friendly smaller thicker design of the iPhone 5 family makes it easy to hold (fewer screen breaks) especially for people with smaller hands when compared to the larger thinner iPhone 6, 6S and 7.

I am reminded fondly of playing with the remarkably small iPod Touch 4 extensively over the years~ My ancient A1288 (Touch 2) just came out of storage. I was able to get it charged up online over wifi and download an old version of the Pandora app. Just a few minutes ago the ancient iPod Touch 2 was streaming pandora and playing it through its internal speaker. Apple once built really reliable hardware, and depending on the device class, Apple still builds really nice hardware! Usually beautiful, elegant and fragile, the iPod Touch 2 however has been remarkably durable! Even the original battery from 2008 continues working! I know that Apple can do a much better job with the iPhone 8 in terms of building a solid reliable phone with awesome features that people will love!

Energy Capturing

Thin film under glass bezel solar could be built into the screen modules. Sure the actual energy captured would be relatively low in many use cases, and we certainly do not want people parking their phones in direct sunlight (heat is back for electronics, especially lithium ion batteries). But Apple could put a type of solar into the screen bezel that capture small amounts of power from even low intensity indoor lighting, ambient photon energy capture. We need something to boost battery life performance, especially if you cannot use earbuds and charge at the same time!

Kenetic energy recovery. A small modification of the "Vibration Motor" could yield a linear or rotational kenetic energy generation solution. Think of the linear motors in the "taptic" engine being run backwards to capture the energy in motion and vibration.

Mechanical Energy Capture. The iPhone case can be made to produce energy from twisting, tension, compression and other mechanical stresses and pressures.

iPhone 8 hopes 

10 Years of iPhone, yet the 5SE design reigns supreme with 6S hardware in a 5S-esque case! I have high hopes for the iPhone 8 to make up for what failed to materialize in the iPhone 7.

iPhone 8 to include wireless charging, OLED screen, longer battery life, stronger display, water resistance, improved camera performance, improved wireless data fidelity + performance, faster SOC (CPU,GPU,RAM,SSD) on the 10nm fanless SULV (super ultra-low voltage) mobile chip manufacturing node ^^

It is unknown if an iPhone 7S will launch in June of 2017. We know that a new iPhone is due by September of 2017. I hope that Apple does a fresh redesign with the iPhone 8 using the best of what they learned with iPhone 5SE and iPhone 7 designs. A wireless charging solution that is better than QI2 is slated to be included in the iPhone 8; Apple actively developing a "longer range" wireless charging technology today!

The Water-Proofing features in the iPhone 7 design are a welcome addition to the real world. Rain happens, and having a splash resistant phone makes a phone that holds up better in the real world! It seems almost thoughtless not to utilize some water intrusion resistance gaskets in a $700+ handset! All this glass and metal in the iPhone seems like an eco-friendly but dent prone solution that could be better served by PLA, a biodegradable plastic, or HDPE a food safe strong plastic used extensively for high performance thermoplastic applications. Bio-fiber reinforced biodegradable plastics (Bio FRP) would provide an impact resistant case material that is transparent to RF, giving better radio performance for more reliable calls and faster data with lower RF levels.

Engineered plastics can be highly recyclable too. For example metal brackets can be used in the plastic design to reinforce edge, gaps, boundaries, screw post mounts, holes, seems, and other structural features. With a higher degree of elasticity, electrically insulating, RF transparency, engineered plastics would make an interesting alternative to the aluminum and glass of iPhone construction today. I normally promote metal and glass over plastic for food prep, water bottles, cooking instruments, brewing tools, etc. The chemically inert nature of glass does not impart any off flavors that plastic might introduce to food in some cases. Similarly metal ions from metals containers can foul the flavors of acidic fluids. Thats why metal food cans are now lined with plastic. Plastics are ideal in waterproof impact resistant rugged mobile electronics because of their unique elastic non-corroding softer properties that make them prone to scratching. The lack of hardness in plastic is made up for by their modulus of elasticity, elastic strain limit, corrosion resistance, non-conductivity, RF transparence, low cost, and high speed manufacturing ability. 

Plastics can be enhanced with nano-engineering to give them novel properties that exploit quantum mechanical principles. The body shell of a plastic iPhone for example could contain all the RF antenna in optimized locations for MIMO! Sealing a plastic phone from water intrusion is also easier! The plastic case can also be modified to generate electricity via strain, compression and torsion input as the phone is subjected to reality. Quantum nano-processing of plastics offers even more performance options for mobile electronics. I am reminded of a piece written by the CTO of Dewalt tools about the virtues of plastics in power tool designs!







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