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.