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Unbreakable LiquidMetal rumors return for the iPhone 5S and next iPad

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Unbreakable LiquidMetal rumors return for the iPhone 5S and next iPad
If you've followed the Apple rumor mill even peripherally, there are a few rumors that are persistent. We've been hearing for the past two iPhone cycles that there would be NFC in an iPhone. Before Apple added LTE, that rumor held for a couple cycles as well. The rumors of Apple using an unbreakable LiquidMetal casing began with the iPhone 5, but it looks like it may be real for the 5S and the next-gen iPad. 

The rumor started with the iPhone 5, but never had much traction, because the technology couldn't really provide anything more than smaller components made of LiquidMetal. This time around, things are looking different. It started with a patent filing that was approved yesterday for "bulk amorphous alloy sheet forming processes". In plain English, it is a process which would allow the manufacture of sheets of metallic glass of variable thickness between 0.1mm and 25mm and in widths of up to three meters, which could be used in "any electronic device known the art". 

The patent was granted to Crucible Intellectual Property, which is a shell company formed with the licensing deal between Apple and LiquidMetal Technology. The Boy Genius himself is predicting separately (he never mentions the patent filing in his prediction) that the iPhone 5S will use LiquidMetal, because back in May he handled the SIM card tray of an iPhone 5S, and claims it felt like LiquidMetal. 

Of course, the technology to be able to make LiquidMetal components has existed for years, going back to the original Vertu devices in 2004. The question is whether the patent filing shows that the technology has evolved enough to build entire iPhone and iPad cases out of the material. Clearly, the patent shows that Apple and LiquidMetal Technology have a manufacturing method in theory, but unfortunately, patents don't always go beyond the theoretical and into a real world building scenario. 

Given that the iPhone 5S is planned to launch in September, it is likely that Apple has already begun the mass production of the devices, since we are in the 2-3 month window before launch when manufacturing would ramp up. But, it is still unclear if this new production method was ready soon enough to scale for the demands of millions of iOS devices that would be hitting the market just a few months from now. It certainly doesn't help the rumor (or BGR's prediction) that aluminum cases were leaked straight from the Foxconn line earlier. 

We can certainly believe that some internal components of the next-gen iOS devices will be made with LiquidMetal, because even a small piece will be enough to allow Apple's marketing machine to run with the claims. But, we haven't seen anything yet that would support the idea that the entire casing for the next iPhone or iPad will be made of the material. 

source: USPTO via Electronista
reference: BGR

  • Options

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:06 3

1. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)

Wow, apple's first real patent...oh wait it isn't really apple never mind haha.

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:12 1

2. Android-Boxer (Posts: 13; Member since: 15 Aug 2012)

Beginning of another war :D

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:40 1

9. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

And their products will be even more expensive.

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:16

3. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

The S5 should equipe with this.

With Exynos 5450 at 3.0Ghz along with side air vents to cool down the Cpu Gpu
Pvrsgx554 at 700Mhz

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:29 9

6. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 1122; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

WOW Troll, you are so wise, i think Samsung or Apple should hire you to help them with their phones!


posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:49 2

11. No_Nonsense (unregistered)

All he wants are specs on devices. real world performance = specs for him, never mind it doesn't work that way really.

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 12:05 8

13. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

might aswell put in an intel i7 5770k at 12ghz 112gb ram 12tb of hard drive and a 7790 by 6280 screen with a 100mp camera no ?

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 12:35 5

15. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

oh ya and a 1,000,000 mah battery for all that power

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 13:32 1

17. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)

Nope. A 12TB ssd.

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 13:57 2

18. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

why not add all of googles servers as a syncing mainframe and ontop of that a free ferrari so you can make use of the bluetooth 50.0 on both of them lol

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 15:08 1

21. roldefol (Posts: 4365; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

He left out the most important part, the 24 MP Exmoor™ (which I can only assume is a north African who has renounced his heritage) RS sensor with Carl Zeiss lens.

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:23 3

4. Izoe (Posts: 142; Member since: 02 Sep 2010)

unbreakable housing + breakable screen, no sense at all especially when its the display and not the housing that the inevitable bumper case purchase will protect. Plus bet it still gets scratched and dented when you drop it, so whats the point. Just sales hype and another reason keep the price where it is, Sky high.

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:29

7. Izoe (Posts: 142; Member since: 02 Sep 2010)

sorry meant its the housing and not the display the bumper will protect

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 14:13

20. ianbbaa (Posts: 332; Member since: 20 Mar 2013)

it wont break even when you hit darkkjeddis head with it...for sure

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:23 1

5. ahmed_ali_yossef2010 (Posts: 164; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)

the same rumors as every year screen bump to 4.3 and liquid metal

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:37

8. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 872; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)

Too bad the glass display still isn't. No matter how strong the outer display is, it all comes down to physics in the end. All that energy from the fall and the impact has to be transferred somewhere...

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 12:08 1

14. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

hmm maybe a phone case, (actual one with phone not like an otterbox) that transfers the kinetic energy into the floor or surface it gets dropped onto through like a an extremely conductive metal, or have a liquid metal case that has enough give so that once it drops the metal morphs so it like splats on the ground so it dosent break would be cool

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 17:48

22. belovedson (Posts: 1052; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)

how about simply teaching people how not to drop the a phone. it would be apple's next step in keeping their precious phones in tact.

it's not our fault the phone breaks its you. stop dropping the a phone. it's perfect

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:40

10. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

Another patent another law suit.

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 11:58 1

12. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 637; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


This concept of ours incorporated rumors of LiquidMetal back in 2012, and now they are alive again, despite being told that it was pretty impossible in this timeframe.

I doubt they could implement it so soon. Only in minor parts, like SIM tray in some limited iPhone 3GS models.

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 13:13

16. xpr3ss10n (Posts: 58; Member since: 15 Dec 2011)

Has anyone broken the metal on their phone recently? ....me niether

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 13:59

19. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

the metal buckles so this will reduce that, metal dosent break like glass

posted on 17 Jul 2013, 20:50 1

23. dirtydirty00 (Posts: 425; Member since: 21 Jan 2011)

umm.... im pretty sure they should be working more on making their screens break less. not the already just about unbreakable metal they already use.

posted on 18 Jul 2013, 08:50

25. amilcarmz86 (Posts: 95; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)

well my friend you said the real truth, is not the body that the users complain about, is the screen... if you drop an iphone you better get money to buy another glass..

posted on 18 Jul 2013, 08:45

24. amilcarmz86 (Posts: 95; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)

iphone will never be in my pocket, overpriced s...

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