LiquidMetal alloy technologies are rumored to be a possibility for the iPhone 5′s back. But analysts also believe that it could revolutionize the look of the iPad 3 as well.
The nice thing about running the iPhone 5 News Blog since August 10th, 2010 is the fact that we have a long, chronicled memory of iPhone 5 rumors, which allows us to expose and parse them as they come around for a second time here in 2012. I recently noted in another article that, while plenty of new purported photos claim that the iPad 3 will sport a virtually identical form factor as the iPad 2, it isn’t completely unrealistic to imagine that the iPad 3 could have a redesigned form factor.
In that piece, I make mention of the fact that Apple has this interesting licensing partnership with LiquidMetal, and that the light, strong, moldable LiquidMetal alloy is bound to show up on an Apple device somewhere down the line, given its unique construction benefits and its proven track record for crafting beautiful things. It is worth noting that this time last year saw the rise of several interesting reports of how we could see LiquidMetal come to fruition for the iPhone 5.
All News Machad a story that ran on January 5th, 2011 that talked about how the LiquidMetal alloy properties could actually be used for a new battery design for the iPhone 5: “According to some experts, utilizing the technology Apple could create mobile devices with battery power lasting 30 days or more and MacBooks with battery life of 20 hours or more. Apple is already using Liquidmetal today for the SIM eject tool that comes with the iPhone. Inventors of the Liquidmetal technology have previously predicted that Apple will use it to build the next iPhone.”
And there is an Apple patent that supports this notion.
It’s worth noting that, not too long ago, a new report surfaced about another battery-related Apple patent which would allow Cupertino designers to craft battery packs — ostensibly for the iPhone 5 or some future Apple device — that could be shaped around internal components in order to maximize cell size, even on a thinner device. There is plenty of reason to believe that both of these patents could converge, with LiquidMetal at its center.
2011 also saw the rise of the rumor that the iPhone 5′s form factor would sport a metal back. The party line suggested that it would be comprised of aluminum, but an insurgent rumor suggested LiquidMetal as its material. Love For Tech filed this article on June 23rd: “The alloys produced by them are stronger, harder, more elastic and more corrosion resistant than other high-performance alloys. On top of that, the alloys have the ability to be molded into highly finished products, without costly post-finishing processes, has a highly resistance to scratches and dents.”
Sounds like a better alternative to aluminum, doesn’t it?
This year, we have yet to see the return of the LiquidMetal rumors for the iPhone 5 or iPad 3. But this doesn’t mean that it is any less plausible that we’ll see LiquidMetal play a big role in Apple’s 2012 releases. The reason why many analysts assumed LiquidMetal wasn’t used on the 2011 Apple devices was that it was simply “too soon.” Perhaps 2012 will be “right on time.”
By Michael Nace