“A report from Taiwan’s Apple Daily purports to show an assembled iPhone 5C, the low-cost iPhone rumored to be announced on September 10, surviving an informal pocket test with no visible scratches on its rear plastic shell,” Jason D. O’Grady writes for ZDNet. “In it, an anonymous individual puts the 5C into a gallon Ziploc bag with coins, keys, screws, paper clips and, what appears to be a pocket flashlight, then closes and shakes the bag vigorously.”
“After the shake test, the person drags the keys, screws and coins across the surface of the plastic shell in an attempt to scratch it. After putting the pink 5C through its paces, the reflection on the rear of the shell shows no visible scratches whatsoever, at least at the video’s resolution,” O’Grady writes. “The implication is that Apple’s may have used a new process to make the plastic extremely scratch-resistant.”
“In August 2010 Apple acquired LiquidMetal [sic] and its new metallic/glass substance that has twice the strength of Titanium but the moldability of plastic,” O’Grady writes. “Then, in late 2010, Apple filed a patent application for ‘Nitriding Stainless Steel for Consumer Electronic Products’ which resists scratches by placing a layer of nitride over a stainless steel exterior. Hmmm… Don’t be surprised if the iPhone 5C case is fabricated from nitride-coated LiquidMetal.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple did not acquire Liquidmetal (small “m”).
The deal is basically this: Apple contributes engineers and R&D – basically figuring out how to practically make Liquidmetal into commercial parts – and contributes their inventions back to Liquidmetal (via Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, a Liquidmetal subsidiary) which gets to use Apple’s inventions in fields other than consumer electronics (sporting goods, aviation, medical, military, etc.). In exchange, along with an already-paid one-time license fee of US$20 million, Apple owns sole rights to use Liquidmetal in electronics via “a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in the field of consumer electronic products.”
MacDailyNews Take: As far as a Liquidmetal iPhone 5C with colored nitride-coating, we suppose anything is possible. However, Apple has many patents, including “Composite Laminate having an Improved Cosmetic Surface and Method of Making Same,” (carbon fiber) to name just one.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]
Apple patent application reveals methods of forming 3D structures with Liquidmetal – July 25, 2013
‘iPhone 5S’ release date nears as Apple begins mass production of Liquidmetal case, report claims – July 22, 2013
Apple’s ‘iPhone 5S’ to feature indestructible Liquidmetal case, says BGR – July 17, 2013
Apple and Liquidmetal scientists granted new patent that could enable Liquidmetal production on a massive scale – July 16, 2013