With less than a week to go before the kick-off of the Worldwide Developers Conference, LiquidMetal is injecting themselves back into Apple and iPhone 5 speculation.
Since the advent of iPhone 5 speculation, LiquidMetal has been at the forefront of the form factor rumors, since Apple’s license with the metal alloy company was sealed in the same year that the iPhone 4 was released, thus kicking off the long, meandering wait for the now-mythic iPhone 5. We’ve covered the LiquidMetal angel since its beginnings, if for no other reason than the technology itself would seem to provide Apple with a unique and innovative means of achieving remarkable form factors for its products.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen some wild news swings about LiquidMetal and Apple releases. The first came about on the eve of the New iPad release, when the company itself issued a press release that briefly led some to wonder if the iPad 3 would feature a LiquidMetal chassis. That of course did not come to pass, but it was the start of a crescendoing anticipation for LiquidMetal to be factored into the iPhone 5′s form factor, with rumors out of Asia to boot.
Now, with the WWDC less than a week away, LiquidMetal is once again making news, inciting the speculators to once wonder: is LiquidMetal going to show up at the WWDC?
Today, 9to5Mac posted a promotional video from Liquidmetal Technologies’ CEO Tom Steipp, wherein he explicitly singled out Apple in his comments:
“In what looks to be a video aimed towards potential investors, Liquidmetal Technologies’ CEO Tom Steipp confirmed his company’s involvement by announcing it is supplying Liquidmetal to Apple. In the video seen below, the CEO 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.’”
The timing of this video cannot be overlooked, as anticipation over what Apple might announce at the WWDC is bound to escalate, no matter how many people believe that the iPhone 5 is still almost half a year away from release. Whether or not Steipp’s comments are a power play for sucking up some of that buzz or not, the company also released a press release on May 15th, wherein Steipp was quoted as saying, “We are excited about the progress of the program as customers test and evaluate the commercial parts that we shipped to them last quarter. We understand that this is a detailed process as they look to replace complex machined parts. We look forward to having them move into full production in the coming months.”
For as much as LiquidMetal’s application is anticipated to be aimed at the iPhone 5′s form factor upgrade, there have also been reports that the alloy could be used in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries as well, suggesting that it could in fact debut at the WWDC in a use as yet unforeseen. However, given Steipp’s comment concerning “complex machined parts,” the assumption here is that the metal alloy may end up being used in the construction of sophisticated designs, such as the iPhone.
By Michael Nace