“After releasing two generations of iPhones with exactly the same form factor, Apple is expected to show off a new chassis design — and possibly new materials — in its sixth-generation smartphone. And a little-known alloy that Apple has quietly been using for the past two years could be just the ticket to make consumers swoon,” Christina Bonnington reports for Wired.

“Korea IT News reported Wednesday that the iPhone 5 is likely to be housed in Liquidmetal [LQMT], the commercial name for an alloy of titanium, zirconium, nickel, copper and other metals,” Bonnington reports. “Liquidmetal was discovered at the California Institute of Technology in 1992. It’s a class of patented amorphous metal alloys (basically metallic glass) with unique properties including high strength, high wear resistance against scratching and denting, and a good strength-to-weight ratio. Apple was granted rights to use it in August of 2010.”

Bonnington reports, “Liquidmetal’s injection molding process is still a relatively new technology, and it’s fairly expensive — but that’s not necessarily anything that Apple would shy away from. ‘We expect Apple and other manufacturers to start using this not only for larger and more visible portions of devices, but also entire enclosures,’ IHS senior principal analyst Kevin Keller said. Thus, a Liquidmetal iPhone chassis seems entirely reasonable to expect in the not-too-distant future.”

Read more in the full article here.

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