Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Apple looking to build 'unibody' earbuds through ultrasonic bonding
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple looking to build 'unibody' earbuds through ultrasonic bonding

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Not sure if this is of interest here but...

 

"By using a process known as ultrasonic bonding, Apple could create new iPhone and iPod earbuds that would have a seamless, more aesthetically pleasing "unibody" appearance."

 

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/12/apple_looking_to_build_unibody_earbuds_through_ultrasonic_bonding.html

post #2 of 31

Interesting...

 

post #3 of 31
Plausible. Certainly, their buds havent been updated in a while.
post #4 of 31

I'd say make the rubber lasts longer first...

post #5 of 31

Certainly not a new technology, but Apple usually gets the aesthetics right, and the sound at least passable.

post #6 of 31
Ultrasonic bonding is nothing new, and Apple doesn't make its own earbuds, the OEM suppliers do.
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Ultrasonic bonding is nothing new, and Apple doesn't make its own earbuds, the OEM suppliers do.

Apple does a lot of the engineering, and then directs the manufacturing contractor.  Sometimes some of the engineering is farmed out as well, but in the final analysis, if Apple puts their name on it, it's their product.
 

 

post #8 of 31

Please do remember, Apple also makes (or made in the past) a bluetooth headset, which I do believe was mostly metal. This may likely be the avenue they apply this technology to, or at least, one of the avenues they apply it to

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

Apple does a lot of the engineering, and then directs the manufacturing contractor.  Sometimes some of the engineering is farmed out as well, but in the final analysis, if Apple puts their name on it, it's their product.

As far as I know, Apple's iBud has at least two suppliers making the same models (*the detail was exposed last year when a few of them get sued by bribing an Apple's manager) and I really don't see how applying ultrasonic bonding has much engineering factor in it . Taking Foxconn for an example - most of the Apple's products they made are fully R&D'ed by Foxconn's in-house team on the hardware level.. Apple is only there to tell them what feature they want on which model. Sure, at the end it is Apple that put its name on the patent, but it has nothing to say on Apple's hardware development ability. As my own opinion goes, Apple strength is in its software, marketing, and their ability to put different tech that were developed by others into a slick package.
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

As far as I know, Apple's iBud has at least two suppliers making the same models (*the detail was exposed last year when a few of them get sued by bribing an Apple's manager) and I really don't see how applying ultrasonic bonding has much engineering factor in it . Taking Foxconn for an example - most of the Apple's products they made are fully R&D'ed by Foxconn's in-house team on the hardware level.. Apple is only there to tell them what feature they want on which model. Sure, at the end it is Apple that put its name on the patent, but it has nothing to say on Apple's hardware development ability. As my own opinion goes, Apple strength is in its software, marketing, and their ability to put different tech that were developed by others into a slick package.


Good points, but I wouldn't say it's completely spot-on. It's true that ultrasonic bonding for aesthetics really doesn't have much engineering involved, and I'd say that Apple earbuds really don't have much to do with Apple's engineering prowess, as they most likely just dictated to their OEMs to start using the bonding process in their products. Apple's engineering capabilities are concentrated mostly on proof-of-concept efforts --- showing that a certain implementation of miniaturization is feasible, yada yada yada. Foxconn is involved with the nuts and bolts of putting it all together in an economically practicable package, essentially becoming a subsidiary of Apple. As you well know, it's the IP that counts these days, rather than being the assembly line, so it doesn't matter that Foxconn, Compal, Winstron, or whatever is doing all the leg work.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

.... As you well know, it's the IP that counts these days, rather than being the assembly line, so it doesn't matter that Foxconn, Compal, Winstron, or whatever is doing all the leg work.

Well, the last time I look at Apple's patent applications, they are mostly concept and not actual engineering, prototype or product. Thus come the problem of patent troll, because any company can patent their idea and hence we are seeing all of them suing each others these days. Things like these can be proof-of-concept or purely a way to keep out the competition.

That's enough OT for the day. The one big drawback for ultrasonic bonding, as least for the perspective of a DIYer, is that it will make recabling even harder. Of course I don't think that many people will want to recable their iBud, but in the long run, you never know if other manufacturer will want to follow Apple's footstep or not as a way of 'being mainstream'.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Well, the last time I look at Apple's patent applications, they are mostly concept and not actual engineering, prototype or product. Thus come the problem of patent troll, because any company can patent their idea and hence we are seeing all of them suing each others these days. Things like these can be proof-of-concept or purely a way to keep out the competition.
That's enough OT for the day. The one big drawback for ultrasonic bonding, as least for the perspective of a DIYer, is that it will make recabling even harder. Of course I don't think that many people will want to recable their iBud, but in the long run, you never know if other manufacturer will want to follow Apple's footstep or not as a way of 'being mainstream'.


Yeah, while Apple is undeniably the biggest A-hole in the business, everyone nevertheless wants to do business with them! In the end, it's always, "Follow the money..."

 

LOL, I'd like to see someone recable their iBud with a Crystal Piccolo! tongue_smile.gif (Uh oh, that might prompt some OT discussions, too!)

post #13 of 31

No point dressing up a pig like the homecoming queen because it will still squeal loudly.

 

That's my analogy of the iBud.

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post


As far as I know, Apple's iBud has at least two suppliers making the same models (*the detail was exposed last year when a few of them get sued by bribing an Apple's manager) and I really don't see how applying ultrasonic bonding has much engineering factor in it . Taking Foxconn for an example - most of the Apple's products they made are fully R&D'ed by Foxconn's in-house team on the hardware level.. Apple is only there to tell them what feature they want on which model. Sure, at the end it is Apple that put its name on the patent, but it has nothing to say on Apple's hardware development ability. As my own opinion goes, Apple strength is in its software, marketing, and their ability to put different tech that were developed by others into a slick package.


As I already said in my first post in this thread, the ultrasonic bonding is no big deal, even though they managed to get a patent for their unique application method.  Not sure what you're trying to say. The fact is that every product Apple puts their name on is at the very least "blessed" by their engineering and industrial design depts.  Not sure what you're trying to argue.

 

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post


Well, the last time I look at Apple's patent applications, they are mostly concept and not actual engineering, prototype or product. Thus come the problem of patent troll, because any company can patent their idea and hence we are seeing all of them suing each others these days. Things like these can be proof-of-concept or purely a way to keep out the competition.
That's enough OT for the day. The one big drawback for ultrasonic bonding, as least for the perspective of a DIYer, is that it will make recabling even harder. Of course I don't think that many people will want to recable their iBud, but in the long run, you never know if other manufacturer will want to follow Apple's footstep or not as a way of 'being mainstream'.


FWIW, a great deal of production engineering effort usually goes into mfg. and assy. methodologies to maximize efficiency, yield, and reliability.  Remember six sigma...

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Apple looking to build 'unibody' earbuds through ultrasonic bonding