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Apple iPhone 15 Pro series: Why titanium is a better choice of material

When Apple made the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max official during its “Wonderlust” event, the most noticeable change about the high-end Pro line was the choice of materials to build these devices. For that matter, the Pro line has been upgraded from a stainless steel frame to one made out of a brushed “grade 5 titanium. The flagship Pro series of the iPhone launched this year features a titanium chassis, but why does that matter?

Well, compared to stainless steel, titanium is both lighter and tougher. It is 45 per cent lighter than steel and twice as strong as aluminium, according to Forbes. It is very resistant to both corrosion and extreme temperatures. It can also withstand harsh chemicals much better. This is why it has found favour as a material used in advanced applications like aerospace and defence.

This weight reduction will be clear for anyone who switches to the iPhone 15 Pro models from the iPhone 14 Pro models. Titanium can exhibit many interesting properties based on the alloy it is turned into, according to Lifewire. It can be extremely rigid when used in surgical plates used to hold healing bones in place. It can be as flexible as plastic, bending and twisting without breaking, when used in a pair of spectacles, for example.

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Also, titanium is much easier to anodise than steel. In fact, anodising titanium is a popular way to add bright colours to the material. Manufacturers can achieve many different colours like bronze, purple, blue, light blue, gold, rose, magenta and others. Currently, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro max models are available in black, white titanium, blue titanium, and a natural titanium. But Apple can easily launch another colourway later in the year, like they often do with the base iPhone and iPhone max models.

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While titanium does offer many advantages over the stainless steel used in the previous models, it is also a notoriously difficult metal to work with. Especially with the massive scale at which Apple intends to sell the higher-end iPhone models.

Titanium production can be expensive and harmful for the environment. It is a very hard metal and most components made with titanium are made using subtractive manufacturing. This means that there can be a lot of waste when manufacturing parts using the metal. The difficult production process also often uses harsh chemicals.

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But this is not Apple’s first rodeo with the tough metal. In fact, even the first Apple Watch Ultra launched last year or even the Apple Card was not the first time the company used the metal. Apple made the Powerbook G4 laptop made out of titanium between 2001 and 2003, It would be fair to say that the company would probably have worked with manufacturers to surpass the limitations of working with the metal in the years since.

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