All hopes for an ultra-tough, ultra-thin iPhone 5 made out of Liquidmetal may have just been quashed, by none other than one of the alloy’s inventors.
Speaking recently, Atakan Peker, one of the inventors of Liquidmetal, says that the material is not yet ready to be used in a product such as a smartphone. Recent rumours have suggested that Apple’s next iPhone may use Liquidmetal for the back or entire casing, such as the concept design above.
For those who haven’t been keeping track of the rumour mill, Liquidmetal is the trade name for a new breed of metallic alloys. Due to their unique atomic structure, Liquidmetals are incredibly strong and durable with scratchproof and corrosion-proof properties, while still looking glossy and very classy. They can also be cast into complex shapes with remarkable precision – perfect for the intricate cases and parts associated with smartphones and tablets.
Apple has exclusive rights over everyone else in the world when it comes to Liquidmetal, and Dr Peker reckons that the Cupertino Company will bide its time until it can use the material to launch a “breakthrough product”. This could be a new series of MacBooks or indeed a new iPhone, but it won’t be for a few more years yet.
The technology is yet to mature and become perfected according to Dr Peker, which is why he feels that we certainly won’t see it later this year when Apple launches a new iPhone.
Apple has already used Liquidmetal in several of its products, although only on a very small scale. Believe it or not, the SIM pin tool bundled with iPhones from the 3GS model and up is made from Liquidmetal.
iLounge recently reported that the next iPhone will follow on from the iPhone 4 and 4S in design, using Gorilla Glass and metal for the casing. The Apple-based news site reckons that the next iPhone will feature a metallic rear panel, which many had thought to be Liquidmetal. Perhaps Apple will be going with a different metal for this year; we’ll just need to wait to find out.