Apple Wiki
Apple Wiki

Apple Watch Sport - Aluminium

Aluminium, known as aluminum in Canada and the United States, is a lightweight metallic element (atomic number 13 on the periodic table) that is often used in alloys for products designed by Apple Inc. It can be easily bent and dented, but is strong and lightweight in comparison to many other common metals. It is the most abundant metal on the earth's surface and is easily recycled, making it fairly inexpensive. Exposed aluminum will slowly oxidize into a durable protective surface that prevents continued corrosion.[1]

Usage at Apple[]


The laptop that made Apple switch to aluminum

Released in 1980, the Apple III was the first model from Apple to use an aluminium chassis, but mainly to function as a heat sink as it had been designed without a cooling fan at Steve Jobs' insistence.[2] The 20th Anniversary Macintosh was released in 1997 with an aluminium pedestal that was designed by Jonathan Ive as a single die-case part that could be folded up for use as a handle.[3]


Jonathan Ive explaining the Unibody-Design

The first Mac to be entirely encased in aluminium is the PowerBook G4 in January 2003, replacing the troubled titanium verson which was strong, but brittle. Apple has since moved to unibody construction for its entire Mac product line, with exterior cases — complete with internal reinforcement structures — being machined from a single piece of aluminium. The first Mac to use this construction method was the MacBook Air in January 2008, followed by the MacBook Pro in January 2009 and the iMac in October 2009.[4] In 2012, Apple adopted friction stir welding to enable thinner aluminium construction of the iMac.[5]

Aluminium has also been used in the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch product lines. To further strengthen the iPhone 6S, Apple used a 7000 series aluminium alloy for its case material.[6] Apple also applied for a patent for this process using copper to create an aircraft-grade alloy with high yield strength.[7]


In October 2018, Apple announced that it had been using "100% recycled aluminium" in its products. Apple filed a patent for inventing a process of recycling scrap aluminium into 6063 aluminium alloy "with cosmetic appeal".[8]

In popular culture[]

The pronunciation of aluminium by Sir Jonathan Ive in his native Essex English dialect has garnered dedicated fans, as well as memes.[9][10]


External links[]