In a brief chat with Core77, Jonathan Ive shares his thoughts about materials:
A big part of the experience of a physical object has to do with the materials. [At Apple] we experiment with and explore materials, processing them, learning about the inherent properties of the material–and the process of transforming it from raw material to finished product; for example, understanding exactly how the processes of machining it or grinding it affect it. That understanding, that preoccupation with the materials and processes, is [very] essential to the way we work.
It is good to know that Apple’s Ive will continue to be obsessively preoccupied with materials and processes. I can hope the imperfections found in the iPhone 4 will be ironed out, and soon. Read Not Getting An iPhone 4, Yet.