Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

How Apple made the iPhone 5 the 'Rolex of smartphones'

September 17, 2012: 1:42 PM ET

Manufacturing porn courtesy of Jony Ive and Bob Mansfield

FORTUNE -- It was Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster who compared the iPhone 5 to a Rolex -- and all other smartphones to Timexes.

But it was Apple (AAPL) design chief Jony Ive who showed the press how the company achieves what he likes to call the device's "extraordinary level of fit and finish."

No one can make an assembly line sound as sexy as Sir Jony, although he's demonstrating processes almost certainly developed by Bob Mansfield, the company's under-appreciated senior vice president for manufacturing.

The 1:36 minute YouTube video above was excerpted from the 7-minute iPhone 5 film shown at the device's unveiling last week and now available here at

The excerpt was posted at the request of reader "apppletini," who says she almost passed out when Ive began talking about grinding the chamfers with diamond crystals.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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