iPhone 3G isn’t plastic – Zirconia ceramic casing?

The biggest test of any hardware’s material-quality is a quick trip to the blender. WillItBlend.com takes all the latest gadgets and pits them against the TotalBlender. The viral marketing campaign has built-up a poplar following, and whenever Apple products get thrown in the mix, the world watches.

The original iPhone was subjected to the hyper-RPM blender and ended up losing the battle. The iPhone was reduced to fine dust, with the exception of a mangled bit of steel from the iPhone’s bezel. So, in an effort to repeat the wildly popular iPhone-blending exercise, WillItBlend.com has upped the ante and threw an iPhone 3G to the blades. The result? That glossy casing that we all thought was made of plastic survived the blender relatively intact. Even the Apple logo is clearly visible.

iPhone 3G ceramic zirconia casing

So, is the iPhone 3G casing made of glossy plastic? Not likely. Plastic would have been reduced to the same fine dust to which we saw the original iPhone reduced. And, Apple never stated outright that the glossy-black or glossy-white finish was made of plastic.

iPhone 3G ceramic zirconia casingSo, remember that little Apple patent application that detailed a ceramic-based, radio-transparent material called “Zirconia?” Yea, well, we’re leaning towards Apple having used this ceramic material in the iPhone 3G’s casing. Ceramics are known for their incredible durability and can withstand stresses that metallic and plastic materials would succumb to in a heartbeat. The material is used “on the exterior surface to prevent cracking and protect the ceramic shell from undesirable forces as for example when the ceramic shell is dropped,” and offers greater transparency to cellular radio signals.

So, are our iPhone 3Gs made of a Zirconium/Yttrium impregnated ceramic material that allows for better cellular radio reception? Your guess is as good as ours. Check the video below.

[Via: Macenstein]

  • Tolik P

    thats cool if its not plastic, it wouldn’t scratch so easy then!

  • Will Park

    Apple did actually say that the new material would be scratch-resistant. And, my iPhone 3G is so far scratch-free.

  • Raidium

    Man thats awesome! I love this guy! He brings up a good point with these videos you know. Everything can be destroyed!

  • tRicK

    haha ihav never seen this guy / show before.. once i he pressed ‘blend’ i was like “waht the fuuuck?!”

  • Tony

    Ceramic is not stronger than steel or even aluminum. Its main advantage in an application like this would be its hardness if in fact it makes up part or all of the shell. Ceramic is in fact fragile. It’s incredibly hard, and almost impossible to scratch. Ceramic blades are the only ones that can easily cut kevlar, spectrashield and zylon. Ceramic is also used in hard body armor to defeat armor piercing rounds. While it will shatter after being hit, it will blunt and break AP rounds so the armor behind it can catch the round.

  • Will Park

    Well, it depends on how you define “stronger.”

    You can measure “strength” as a function of tensile strength (Young’s modulus), shearing strength (bulk modulus), impact strength, etc.

    I would argue that ceramics offer greater shear and tensile strength over steel. I’m not sure about ceramic’s impact strength qualities, but perhaps that’s why Apple’s patent application outlined a Zirconia/Yttrium hybrid ceramic.

  • Teregus

    Somehow I don’t see anyone making calls with that Apple-logo.

  • josh

    no offense but you have it all wrong — the piece that remains is a metal insert into the material that makes up the back casing — providing for a metalic apple emblem viewable from behind and a foundation for mounting electronics — it is the smaller shape because of the curvature of the back. this piece and the bezel survive because they are both metal and not other materials. what you are seeing is not space age material…

  • Luigi 94086 zip code , find me on my space

    Hi everyone!
    Hehehe, mr. Blend went crazy with his demostration how the rear encasing of iPhone 3g,
    I’d like to try it myself and find out what it makes this material sort of unbreakable, I am still wandering why AT&T went so cheap and girly with the new desing such as it’s core itself and the back desing looks to femenine even though there are no pink color as far as I’ve known but, it is some kinda funky rear desing in otherwards.
    Many of my friends that are actually using this iPhone upgrade (3G) have lots of complains may be not because of the pricy service as everybody already know. If you compare with 2G which was the first generation of iphone , it has a unique rear desing that can be put on flat surfaces and tapping to it without shaking sideways.
    Why didn’t the bunch of engineers think more wisely while upgrading this cellphone masterpiece.
    Please Mr. Steve Jobs take possible considerations for the public.
    We all want to be heard so, please go back to the old friendly tapping desing thank you.

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