The science behind Apple's anodization process explained in video

A rather concise walkthrough video of Apple's anodization process has been making the rounds, and may be relevant to our interest in the iPhone 5 if the latest rumors of colored models are to be believed. Bill Hammack, from the University of Illonois' Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering explains that Apple is basically rusting the casing, which opens up pores in a honeycomb grid, which are injected with dye, then boiled to seal the pores and lock in the color. That way, the aluminum is part and parcel with the color, enabling devices like the iPod to stay brilliant even after wear and tear. Of course, Apple isn't the only one playing with this process; some of Nokia's latest Windows Phones are boasting a very colorful selection thanks to anodization.

As is, Apple has plenty of experience doing this kind of manufacturing process with iPod models right up to the nano (but not the iPad touch). It would be surprising if they didn't start applying that expertise to their hottest products, namely the upcoming iPhone 5, but also the iPad. Of course, there's plenty of logistical hassles, such as making sure stores are stocked with at least a few of each color, new product codes, more choices that buyers have to hum and haw over. Ordering online would certainly give customers all the time they need to decide, and shift the stock hassles from the store to the warehouse, where I would imagine it's easier to handle that sort of thing.

So far, we've only seen the supposed iPhone 5 casing in black and white, but which colors would you like to see it available in? The primary colors would be a good start - red, blue, yellow... Maybe a green one? The iPod lineup has set a nice precedent for selection, that's for sure. Before we start brushing off device color as a fickle and vain affair, let's just remember how much of a big deal the lack of a white iPhone 4 was not so long ago.

Enough fashion, here's the science lesson. If you're interested in more smartphone engineering stuff, be sure to check out his other video about accelerometers, or better yet, buy this guy's book, called Eight Amazing Engineering Stories.

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Source: Cult of Mac

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.