Apple to spend several years, half a billion dollars to help Liquidmetal technology mature

Apple to spend several years, half a billion dollars to help Liquidmetal technology mature
Based on leaked parts and recent rumors, it now appears unlikely that we will be seeing a Liquidmetal backplate used on the new iPhone later this year. And it also turns out that this isn’t surprising, as a recent interview with Atakan Peker makes clear. Who is Dr. Peker you ask? One of the inventors of Liquidmetal, which for those of you wondering is a new class of metallic alloys that can be poured into a mold (i.e. they can make lots of sweet shapes) and are very resilient.

So why aren’t we going to see Liquidmetal in the iPhone this year? In short, the technology simply isn’t ready yet. Peker explained that “This is a technology that has yet to be matured and perfected both in manufacturing process and application development. I should note that this is a completely new and different metal technology. Therefore, there is no suitable manufacturing infrastructure yet to take full advantage of this alloy technology.”

Peker also indicated that Apple would be investing large amounts of time and money into maturing the manufacturing process. He estimates that Apple will likely spend $300 million to $500 million and three to five years before they could use it as the casing for a future iPhone or a MacBook.

In the short term Dr. Peker expects to see the technology used in smaller-scale parts, like improved hinges. As the manufacturing process develops to the point where wide-scale producing of cases is possible, Peker believes Apple will save the material for some sort of break-through product that will redefine a product category.

So alas, there will be no Liquidmetal backplate on the iPhone 5. Wait around a few years though, and possibly we’ll see it in the iPhone 8. Since Apple has an exclusive license to use Liquidmetal, one thing you can be sure of is it will be a hard technology to match once they do put it into a product. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can certainly buy you exclusivity!

source: Business Insider via Forbes

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17 Comments

1. bolaG

Posts: 468; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

ok?...dont see how this is so great...

10. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

its just a new type of metal... unless you are into chemistry, it basically means better products for consumers

13. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Titanium still sounds better.

2. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Apple is pushing innovation ahead

3. jdcxxx

Posts: 15; Member since: Nov 14, 2011

no the research team from cal tech who invented the process to make "liquid metal" pushed innovation. apple just signed a exclusive licensing agreement with the company. liquid metal is already used in some watches, golf clubs and even the sim tray for the 4s

8. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Actually it is a company that apple BOUGHT that is pushing innovation, but Apple is bankrolling it so I'll give this one to you

12. jdcxxx

Posts: 15; Member since: Nov 14, 2011

they did not buy the company. But the agreement means that apple is the only consumer electronic company that can use their liquid metal technology. Companies in different industries can still use their liquid metal tech.

11. HugeTroller

Posts: 80; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

look at the samsheeps thumbing down you lol.. pathetic

15. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Nope, thumbed him down cos he thinks Apple created this tech. Thumbed you down cos you're retarded.

4. PackMan

Posts: 277; Member since: Mar 09, 2012

Liquid metal is just branding and the license is exclusive to Apple only. Its just amorphous metal alloy or metal glass.

5. master0fursinz

Posts: 104; Member since: Apr 26, 2010

Apple = SkyNet????

7. troybuilt

Posts: 155; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

LOL! My thoughts exactly. It's going to be the variant of the T-1000 advanced prototype.

6. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Did Acer's Liquid Metal phone use Liquid Metal, or was that just its name? I remember that being an older phone (FroYo era if I recall) but with the name. If it did, how is it something new and groundbreaking? **EDIT** I had a chance to look at it on this website. It was only a stainless steel back cover, but it did have the name.

9. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Again, not an Apple innovation - but this is cool

14. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

You can only do that in the MOVIES APPLE. Remember TERMINATOR T-1000 is made from LIQUID METAL

16. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

Has anyone heard about ''Graphene''? Nokia said they are investing in this type of material for future products.

17. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

pocket friendly T-1000...self-repearing and murderous besterd

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