Will Apple finally use liquidmetal in the next iPhone?

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Back in 2010, Apple signed an exclusive agreement with California-based company Liquidmetal Technologies to use the firm's advanced "amorphous" metal alloys. According to Liquidmetal's description of its technology, this material exhibits an "amorphous" molecular structure differing from the crystalline structures of traditional metals, making it lightweight, strong and malleable. It was even said to have unique acoustical properties, potentially making liquidmetal an ideal material for the construction of phone chassis.

Yet in the five years since Apple acquired the rights to liquidmetal, the only consumer product to use it was a SIM ejector tool for the iPhone 3G. But it's now been suggested that we may see this alloy used as the primary material in the next iPhone. The basis of these rumors originates from the fact that Apple has just renewed its exclusivity rights with liquidmetal technologies, possibly indicating the company has some new plans for their alloy.

There's always the chance that Apple may be preparing to use liquidmetal for an upcoming device other than the new iPhone, perhaps on a new generation of Apple Watch. But after the bendgate "controversy" surrounding the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last year, the company may be looking to alleviate potential concerns with a more durable chassis, and liquidmetal could be the answer.

While the general consensus is that the next iPhone will be released around September this year, it's unclear if Apple will stick with tradition and go with the '6S' name or call its next model the iPhone 7 to indicate bigger changes. Some rumored new features include a force touch display and near DSLR quality camera, as well as improvements to the battery life, processor and RAM.

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EEatGDL

TS Evangelist
So bendable iPhones are no longer a design flaw but a feature?

EXCELSIOR!
I think all phones that bend are not flaws but consumer abuse.
It's not the same to bend something exerting a force of 5 N (Newtons) than bending it with 200 N. The amount of force needed marks the limit between user abuse and structural weakness. By definition, being able to bend is part of the malleability property of metals, they either bend ("all the phones that bend") or crack under the same exerted force; defending something that bends with the force your hands can exert, and say that is user abuse, is ridiculous.
 

Rippleman

TS Evangelist
It's not the same to bend something exerting a force of 5 N (Newtons) than bending it with 200 N. The amount of force needed marks the limit between user abuse and structural weakness. By definition, being able to bend is part of the malleability property of metals, they either bend ("all the phones that bend") or crack under the same exerted force; defending something that bends with the force your hands can exert, and say that is user abuse, is ridiculous.
that's my piont. You can't. So its user abuse. Thank you for agreeing with me.
 

VitalyT

Russ-Puss
Liquidmetal Technologies is looking at end up just like GT Advanced Technologies did, tits up.

The funny thing was when Apple pulled out its orders at the last minute, the sapphire manufacturer, who went all-in on those orders, had no choice but to declare bankruptcy. And when Apple was approached about the matter, their response was - "Uh, whaaat, ops!"

Lesson to be learned by small companies - stay away from f.Apple!
 

bexwhitt

TS Evangelist
Liquidmetal Technologies is looking at end up just like GT Advanced Technologies did, tits up.

The funny thing was when Apple pulled out its orders at the last minute, the sapphire manufacturer, who went all-in on those orders, had no choice but to declare bankruptcy. And when Apple was approached about the matter, their response was - "Uh, whaaat, ops!"

Lesson to be learned by small companies - stay away from f.Apple!
Not the same sapphire manufacturer is really difficult and probably needs leaving with the big boys, this looks technically less challenging.
 

SNGX1275

TS Forces Special
Liquidmetal Technologies is looking at end up just like GT Advanced Technologies did, tits up.

The funny thing was when Apple pulled out its orders at the last minute, the sapphire manufacturer, who went all-in on those orders, had no choice but to declare bankruptcy. And when Apple was approached about the matter, their response was - "Uh, whaaat, ops!"

Lesson to be learned by small companies - stay away from f.Apple!
That is a very half-*** attempt to understand what happened with GTAT. There was incredible corruption from the management level of GTAT - see this for some examples: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=GTAT&t=2014-10-14
 

SNGX1275

TS Forces Special
Who's BS PR? That is neither Apple's PR nor GTAT's those are articles from various well respected financial news reporting agencies.