It’s not news that lot of Apple fans and consumers take their products very seriously. In some cases, customers choose Apple as much for its design and physical quality as well as its digital functionality. That may be why this one emerging flaw is getting so much attention. Could it also serve as a means of educating consumers on the properties of certain metal alloys?


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Metal Makes A Difference?
As personal electronic manufacturers made the switch from plastic to metal in a lot of their devices, consumers responded with enthusiasm. And when you go from a plastic to aluminum or steel on a desktop, laptop, or even a phone or tablet, you may not necessarily notice a major difference in how those materials wear, especially if you take pains to protect them according to your use.

When you get into wearables on the other hand, protecting against wear and tear is another manner. Since you probably wouldn’t want to throw a case on your Apple Watch, the materials built into the product should be sufficient for daily wear, shouldn’t they? And since Apple is offering a number of different options that include stainless steel, aluminum and gold, do they need to know more about how the metals differ and perform under ordinary circumstances?


Shiny But Scratchy?
If you’re one of the people now frustrated with the scratches on your new Apple Watch, then the 316L stainless steel option probably wasn’t the best choice for you. When a lot of people hear stainless steel, they think tough and shiny.

While that’s true, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily scratch resistant–at least not in the case of an Apple Watch. The 316L stainless steel housing is actually softer than other options, like the Apple Watch Sport’s 7000 series aluminum. You don’t even have to be especially tough on your stainless steel Apple Watch to have acquired a few scratches; sand in your pocket or lint on your sleeve is enough to do it.

Sophisticated Materials And More Sophisticated Consumers
Fortunately for stainless steel Apple Watch owners, the scratches are not difficult to buff out and there are now plenty of online resources to walk you through that process. This revelation is also good news for those who are still waiting to make their purchase and can now shop a little smarter.

Shopping smarter is an important overall consideration as technology becomes more wearable and metals, rather than plastic, are used to house electronics. As consumer products become more sophisticated, perhaps consumers themselves will need to become more sophisticated, specifically in their understanding of materials and the differences between options.

Do you think manufactures are doing enough to let buyers know how materials will perform in their intended applications, especially when different options are available? Do you think consumers will start paying more attention to these factors? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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