Earlier it was said that Apple may not use Liquidmetal alloys in its products. In 2010, many expected Apple to use it when it obtained a patent to use Liquidmetal in its products.
Apple ran a test using Liquidmetal in its Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card ejector tool. Now there are further rumors that Liquidmetal might be used in batteries. Some even said that Liquidmetal would be used in the next iPhone (nicknamed as iPhone 5). However, at the moment, it is unlikely that the casing will be made of the material.
In the following video, Liquidmetal Technologies’ CEO Tom Steipp confirmed that his company was supplying Liquidmetal to Apple. In the video, Steipp said (55 seconds):
“Our technology has been commercialized in a number of accounts, most recently by Apple computer, which took a license on the product in August of 2010. [Apple] along with us are commercializing [Liquidmetal] in the consumer electronic space.”
It is hard to believe Steipp confirmed Liquidmetal as a feature in the next iPhone, iPad, or computer on a large-scale. Although, it appears he is confirming that Apple will use (or has already used in past) Liquidmetal for more expensive parts. Perhaps, Apple may use it to deal with dense batteries. It makes sense for Apple to use the best materials out there.
This is not the first time Steipp has said something like this. Immediately before the New iPad’s launch-event in March, Steipp announced that his company began shipping commercial parts to accounts worldwide. Of course, this probably included Apple. The press release read:
Liquidmetal Technologies today announced that its manufacturing operations are currently in the midst of shipping commercial parts to several of its customers world-wide. Parts delivery began this past December with continuing shipments scheduled for the months ahead.
The news of next iPhone including liquid metal may sounds great, but one of the Liquidmetal investors, Atakan Peker, said last month that they are still a few years away before Liquidmetal can be used in a large scale for Apple products. Peker explained the speciality of Liquidmetal in an interview:
Each material has its own advantage and disadvantages. Plastics are low cost to manufacture into complex shapes but not strong enough. Metals are strong but difficult to produce into complex shapes. And glass feels and looks beautiful but is highly fragile. Liquidmetal can combine these advantages and remedy some of these shortcomings.
It would be interesting to see how Apple uses this Liquidmetal.
Source: 9TO5 Mac
Video Source: CRWE News Wire