Check out these ultra-thin next-gen Liquidmetal iPhone artist’s concept images

ADR Studio, which has done iPhone artists’ concept imagery in the past, have released a new batch of images which takes most of the “iPhone 5” rumors and imagines an iPhone with the following specs:

• Liquidmetal Body: thermoformed on a single plane, no junctions needed
• Screen with double alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass
• 4.3″ Retina Display with In-Cell technology
• A6 Quad Core processor
• Rear Camera: 10.0 Megapixel, f/2.4, 1080p Full HD video at 30 frame/s
• Front Camera: 2.0 Megapixel (VGA), 480p VGA video at 30 frame/s
• Rear motion sensor
• Top pico-projector to beam photos and videos on any surfaces
• Slim design for an edge-to-edge thinner profile
• New slim-dock connector
• Fully Capacitive Home Button

ADR Studio: iPhone Concept: Antonio DeRosa 2012
ADR Studio: iPhone Concept: Antonio DeRosa 2012


See all of the images in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brawndo Drinker” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


    1. if you knew Jony
      like I know Jony then
      you would have refrained from that comment.

      – suggestion, stop thinking you know what others are think you have not reached your black belt in mind reading yet.

      I have always thought the iPod touch would make a great cellphone – if ADR studios believes this can be casted with Liquidmetal and engineered to house a 10 hour battery and power a A6 – then I would be extremely surprised.

      The subtle curved back is a truly warming welcome to the hand.
      The tighter corners is also appealing and leans nicely with the virtual edge to edge display. I like what I see.

      It’s a fresh enough design that holds well to the traditions of iPhone in all its Zen-ness simplification of less is loads more.

      Form does not fallow function here. The product does not call out to me as commutations device. A slab of glass is now seen as a computer – and a phone – and as a monitor – and as a credit card.

      What else can be dreamed up. This is a very nice design. And quite possible Jony Ives has seen this also; possibly even commissioned concepts from ADR too. Thats how the world works.

        1. Yes BLN – we all wish it to be… 4.3″ would be wonderful – agreed.

          ONLY one this stumps me… I don’t get the tagline.

          iPhone +
          “It’s the Non Plus Ultra smartphone.”

          1. You need a separate control device to use when the screen is shut down for power saving. The problem with capacitive buttons is that they are easily to activate when not wanted. The slightest touch would do it.

            1. There is a power button already.
              It can become the wake up button.
              Integration of some software home key that overlays the system briefly like notifications do, predicting your move and perhaps using the gyro-metrics to handle this. LOL. Just throwing it out there… guessing. Perhaps a physical home button is still best – but fun to think otherwise.

      1. Oh, you really could get followers here – already have.

        I like the curved back also, kind of missed it on the iPhone 4. Would like to see the edges a little curved also. With a front of just the screen it would be like floating.

        About the form and function elements you mention – slab of glass – computer – phone – monitor – credit card.
        I would like to change the feeling of just a slab of glass and make the front as the screen, no edges, just the glass. And be able to have a picture, my wife, kids or just any picture even a Rembrandt on the front, but just enough brightness to be seen – thus make life to the otherwise lifeless slab of glass. Even iMassages coming through in between. That would be pure poetry.

        Well, that’s dreaming or rather dream in a dream – in a dream. Let’s fullfill it Apple.

        1. Forgot to mention, if the whole of the front is the picture, it can be turned on with just a touch or a special sound, f ex when you reach for your phone in your pocket – just touch it then it lightens up with the picture of choice, or talk to it (Siri) to wake it from sleep – just say please.

          Pure poetry it is, so let’s dream on Apple and let us dream with you guys.

      1. if you are referring to…

        “stop thinking you know what others are think you have not reached your black belt in mind reading yet.”

        DONT TAKE THAT comment SERIOUSLY… it was a suggestion – I actually do agree with you. Wider corners brings out a playfulness and a less intimidating device. A more toy-like – friendliness – iPhone.

    1. ” It doesn’t have the look and feel of an iPhone, it looks more like an Android.”

      Not sure if it looks like an Android, but I agree, it just doesn’t feel like an iPhone to me. Something is off – I’m just not sure what. But it just doesn’t look right.

  1. Can anyone explain WHY the camera lens is so close to the corner? I mean on any iPhone…It’s so easy to put your finger over it, it sort of doesn’t make sense so there must be a good reason it’s there. They could easily create a battery configuration to put it elsewhere.

    1. Sensor that Apple uses thicker than sensors for other phones, especially since Apple is the only company that came up with five lens optics. So sensor will be always on the corner.

      As to this Liquidmetal conceptual designs, those are may be beautiful, but I as explained previously, this allow will not be really used for iPhone since it is not radio-transparent material unless radio-transparent plastic insets will be so big that whole thing would lose any sense.

      1. I believe Sony designed the lens you are mentioning.
        Apple merely purchased the slimmer yet unique layered lens making it a superior camera.

          1. YES you are correct – thanks.

            Unique design to any smartphone yes… but
            Did Apple in fact invent this 5 layer lens?

            I must have that confused from the article that I read back in January.


            Sony has a brand-new back-illuminated CMOS image sensor in the works that could be a natural fit for a next-generation iPhone.

            hence why i assumed LOL – it to be Sonys invention the lens – but Doh – just forgot.

            “Apple has reportedly tapped lens makers Largan Precision and Genius to supply the lenses “for Apple’s newest iPhone 5 with an 8-megapixel camera,” according to the Taiwan Economic News.

            “The company headquartered at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California has also issued orders to Foxconn Technology Group and Pegatron Technology to assemble the upcoming iPhone 5 smartphone, according to industry sources quoted by a Japanese blog earlier this week.”


            1. Technically, the new five lens system could be co-development or even outsources, but the point is that it is Apple-exclusive for now.

              Lets see how things will develop, though.

        1. Sony Corporation of Japan is on Apple’s list of suppliers and a teardown analysis has confirmed that an 8-megapixel sensor in the iPhone 4S is in fact built by Sony, as 9to5Mac originally reported in April 2011.

    2. You are and engineer?

      “easily place a battery configuration to put it elsewhere”,

      Well I agree with you that placing the lens near the edge is rather odd for functionality. Yet, I would suggest to look inside an iPhone and see how densely packed the electronics are before saying how easy it is to fix this.

      Part of the design is inside. And one hopes that you’d get a few miles out of it as we saw with the iPhone 4. To design for two generations of chips is one issue. To predict changes in battery consumption and allow for tolerances to adjust things without re-tooling is an enormous challenge.

      Liquid Metal casting is far cheaper then milling aluminium – this could be the start of yearly design alterations.

      ADR has designed a very simplified and very pleasing phone.

      What makes a iPhone appear Apple.
      The radius of corners – perhaps.
      The logo – definitely.
      Metal and glass – for sure.
      Simplified design – yes.

      I think the iPhone 4 is a really unique solution for a phone.
      The dual-antenna is the frame holding the structure and not one company has tried to imitate this yet. Will Apple really create a metal back? Perhaps the iPhone 5 will adopt the iPhone 4 frame and seal the back with simply a plane of liquid metal like a plate.

    3. My guess would be to keep the lens position in the same relative position, whether the phone is held upright (portrait shots) or horizontally (landscape shots). Assuming you rotate the phone counterclockwise by 90 degress, of course. 🙂

  2. Personally, I LIKE it! Sadly, there’s NO way it will be that thin.

    Of course, the only thing they forgot was the Haptic feedback display. That would be SO sweet!

    One other point: it’s not clear that a phone that thin can be set on its edge. Believe it or not, I actually use my iPhone 4 as a level on occasion- it’s a cute feature which I’m not sure would work with a phone this thin… (Oh well, I guess you can’t have everything….)

    1. Haptic feedback is not very probable since it makes screen’s surface prone to scratches, comparing to naked Gorilla glass surface which as hard as sapphire. Also, haptic feedback layer would tamper with image quality even besides scratches.

      1. Haptic feed back would best suit iPad or a touch screen of a future gaming unit – not on a phone – it’s not needed – imo.

        Sony uses the pico-projector on its handy cams. This might be interesting but again is it needed on a phone?

        The all in one business tool is the phone – ok then slam everything we got into it Scotty and while you are at it hook the anti-matter pods up to my boys for a pleasant shocker too. LOL. iPhone Six.

  3. I think the artist may have forgotten interior volume for battery. I don’t think liquid metal will reduce power consumption of the chips and the display.

  4. Curved edges? Samdung Galaxy Mess Poo look alike? iPhone … is sort of weird like on the iPhone 4S box, the S is written differently and on the back it only ever says iPhone?

  5. Everybody is spreading rumours about Apple creating products using liquid metal, but is there any evidence whatsoever or it it just rumour ?

    I know that Apple bought a licence to use the technology, but if a product launch were imminent, wouldn’t there be some sort of tangible clue rather than people simply saying that it must be about to happen ?

    1. There is absolutely nothing beyond rumour. The factual side of things began few years ago when Apple started to provide SIM card slot openers from this alloy, and ended, for now, two years ago when Apple bought exclusive licence for LM. Nothing happened since then. Still, LM developments are possible, though not in iPhone, if the prices will allow.

  6. Two design problems with this concept:
    1) Screen location – Because the iPhone is frequently used in landscape and portrait, the screen will be perfectly centred top and bottom, not close to the top, like they imagine. Ugy, Design fail.
    2) Capacitive home button will be pressed accidentally while holding the device. Design fail. Not happening.

    1. great comments – but – harsh to say fail.

      – its a concept.
      – concepts are ideas.
      – from ideas better solutions are made into decisions.
      – all concepts fail then in your view.

      A phone that is balanced in its usability centring the screen and maintaining head and footer edges to handle the phone in any manner. Provided as you say, is a very nice reason that this design will not win the final design. And I agreed, that what you point out does make sense, to better the functionality and also clarify and define Apples differential design reasoning.

      There are many physical buttons on the iPhone, the power button, the home button, the rotational lock and volume buttons. Too many – imo.

      I believe Apple will keep the home key always. But if ever it which to remove it – something like “the slide to unlock’ function would become part of the iOS interface and NO CAPACITIVE home button would ever be used.

  7. There gets to be a point when it’s too thin. I mean, wouldn’t you rather it stay the same thickness and increases the battery size instead? Aren’t there tradeoffs?

    Lastly, there’s a limit to thinness when it comes to optics. The camera needs some distance between lens and focal plane. Too little distance, the light rays bend too much, and you get lots of chromatic aberration, the purple fringing you see on cheap cams.

    1. I worry that a phone could get too thin to feel comfortable in your hand. Eventually it gets to the point where there’s not much of a “side” to grasp onto. You’d have to hold it like a playing card.


    2. The thickness, weight and balance is important to the usefulness of the device. Agreed.

      A paper thin cellphone positioned high up on a building during a windy day and taking some pictures — oops is gone is a second – lol.

  8. Bloody hell, all these comments about how thin it is, about the battery, camera, yada yada yada, and everyone’s missed the biggest flaw in the design; it WON’T WORK!
    Have all of you idiots forgotten all the antenna and call issues that have plagued Apple? The 3G had to have a plastic back and metal bezel because the metal back of the original iPhone blocked the signal, ‘Antennagate’ on the 4G, with changes made to the antenna design for the 4S?..
    Liquidmetal is not radio transparent, it is not glass, it’s a metal with a glass-like non-crystalline structure.
    You might see a Touch looking like this, but never an iPhone, unless major breakthroughs are made in materials that are radio-transparent, because it’s not just telephony, it’s wifi and GPS and Bluetooth as well.

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