Apple patent suggests Liquidmetal-based iPhone is in the works

liquidmetal plate

Liquidmetal has always been a thing of mystery as no one really knows in what way it could benefit consumers. Well, as it stands now, it appears Apple has found a way to use Liquidmetal to make iPhones, iPads, and other iOS devices. A report from Electronista claims new Apple patent hints at the next generation iOS devices being manufactured with Liquidmetal, a move that could place Apple back in the driver’s seat.

Back in 2010, Apple licensed the IP to use Liquidmetal in consumer products exclusively, since then, nothing much has come from Apple where the difficult to produce material is concerned. So far, Apple has only utilized Liquidmetal in making SIM ejector tools for its iPhone devices since 2010, which is proof of how difficult this material is to control. The problem is traditional manufacturing methods do not play well with Liquidmetal, which means stretching might only cause the material to break.

Gladly, the new patent seems to suggest Apple found a way around this obstacle, which could only mean the company is making big plans to use Liquidmetal to manufacture next generation iOS devices, smartwatches, MacBooks, an even computer Monitors.

With Apple firmly behind the development of Liquidmetal, we are confident this material will become a big thing in the years to come as the company would not waste hundreds of millions of dollars in research in this technology for the sole purpose of creating SIM ejector tools.

Samsung is currently gaining majority of the traction in the smartphone world, but a Liquidmetal based iPhone in the near future could sway the tide, if even by just a little bit.

[via Electronista]

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7 comments

  1. Coyote

    It doesn’t even seem to be that great for consumer use, the wiki claims repeated stresses weaken it much more-so than other materials like titanium and aluminum. I would guess changing from 60~100 degrees on a daily basis will lead to cracking and stress fractures.

    But at first I thought this was the self-healing coating automakers claimed would render knicks and scratches in your car a thing of the past. Now that would make a good coating for a device everybody throws around.

  2. Darcy

    [@tejas] Ah but there is also a much tougher screen in the works, I refer to the sapphire screen mentioned here about a month ago. Anyone who has a child will be grateful for a tougher phone.

    Besides, there’s always the geek factor. My brother-in-law loves titanium because of how tough and lightweight it is. Tries to buy anything made of or using titanium. When Liquidmetal becomes freely available I expect it will be the same thing.

  3. thegreenwizard

    Exactly my point.
    Beside, the life of those devices is for regular people about 24 months. Why making something stronger, if it’s going anyway to the garbage after a newer model come to the market. I may understand it for a tablet or laptop….if those are keep for a few years. But I never saw Apple doing stuff for life.

  4. Vamien McKalin
    Author/

    [@thegreenwizard]

    Liquidmetal is 2x stronger than titanium, I probably should have mentioned that. What we have here is a material that is capable of making your smartphone able to take a beating, it’s cost efficient, allows for thinner devices, scratch resistant etc. As you can see, it does benefit consumers, I should added all of this.

  5. thegreenwizard

    I don’t see how liquidmetal could change the way we use smart phone. It may just be a new case for the phone, but why this would put Apple back to the top? I don’t understand. I suppose it will pollute more that’s all. I don’t see advantages for the users.