Custom titanium shell gives the iPhone 3Gs its heft back



The first generation iPhone’s metallic underbelly was undeniably magnetic to objects like the sharpest ridges of house keys, and in that sense, the current iPhone’s backing is an improvement: the plastic just doesn’t pick up scratches like the metal iPhone backplate used to.

Still, there’s something ghetto about a plastic iPhone, isn’t there? It just doesn’t feel like an Apple product anymore unless it has been hewed out of a piece of aluminum. Martin Schrotz seems to have felt the same way, because he decided to ditch the plastic backplate of his cherished iPhone 3Gs and replace it with a custom titanium body he forged himself.

The process wasn’t without its pitfalls. “I had the original cover measured digitally, and I then started to draw the new cover in CAD. It’s made out of a special titanium alloy that is RF transparent. I had tried aluminum but that was a complete disaster.”

The Apple logo is a bit big for my taste, but otherwise, I’m jealous: my first-generation iPhone has always felt firmer and more substantial in my hand than my girlfriend’s second-gen iPod Touch, but barring Apple restoring the metal-backed option to their iPhone line, this is about the only way in town to marry the performance improvements of Apple’s later handsets with the heft of their first design.


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