Liquidmetal already in iPhone 5s? Apple patent applications reveal methods for creating Liquidmetal iPhone parts

“Two Liquidmetal patent applications have surfaced in Europe,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“One of them covers an customized injection mold for creating iPhone parts while the other addresses the creation of the iPhone’s bottom portion with input/output port and jack created with a liquidmetal composition,” Purcher reports. “The patent also restates constantly that the iPhone’s housing is made from a bulk-solidifying amorphous alloy.”

Purcher reports, “In another segment of the patent Apple references a ‘glassy alloy’ may be formed using a deeply undercooled glass forming liquid which strongly suggests that the backside of the iPhone is liquidmetal composite and not simply glass as their new TV ad presented.”

Read more in the full article here.

“The one constant perception in the marketplace today is that liquidmetal is something that’s on the way; something that’s just around the corner,” Purcher reports. “Yet a new round of Liquidmetal patents from Apple published in Europe on October thirty-first would appear to contradict that myth.”

“Further proof came by way of new patent figures clearly spelling out the process of using Liquidmetal for the current iPhone with its classic metal bezel antenna,” Purcher reports. “Our report covers the most definitive proof to date that Apple’s current iPhone uses Liquidmetal and even reveals a possible new Apple accessory product that is shown to utilize this new material as well.”

Apple teases us with Liquidmetal gold:

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Erik Pineda reports for International Business Times, “For the iPhone 6, it is highly likely that Liquidmetal is the dominant exterior covering that will protect the inner components of the large-screen smartphone. The ‘bulk-solidifying amorphous alloy’ will be paired with sapphire.”

“This new iPhone possibilities came into light as Bloomberg reported this week that Apple’s blueprint for the next-gen iOS smartphone involves the use of curved or flexible display with two screen sizes – 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch,” Pineda reports. “The handsets are also equipped with enhanced sensors, possibly enabling the iPhone 6 to detect pressures at various levels, Bloomberg said.

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple developing two iPhones with bigger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch curved displays for Q314 – November 10, 2013

16 Comments

    1. A pure guess is that there are actually so many small but significant innovations in the iPhone 5c & 5s that you can’t list them all.

      Consumers, for the most part are just interested in a product that really works for them and not what the case or some other part is made of.

      The other side of this is if you don’t talk about all the innovations, chances are it takes the copycats just that bit of time longer before they ‘figure it out.’

      1. Apple better get busy designing more of these mysterious liquid metal components. It won’t be long before patent expiration and Samsung begins marketing it’s own liquid metal doo-dads.

        1. Patents have a long time to go & new patents are applied for every time Apple comes up with a unique application.

          One of the biggest impediments to liquid-metal technology is it is hard to manufacture consistent, high quality parts. There is a lot of machinery that needs development/patents.

          1. “One of the biggest impediments to liquid-metal technology is it is hard to manufacture consistent, high quality parts. There is a lot of machinery that needs development/patents.”

            And yet, from Liquidmetal Technologies own site…

            “… delivers repeatable molded features within ±50µm (±0.002”), and ultralow shrinkage rate of 0.2%.”

  1. Perhaps they want to seriously trumpet its capabilities for the next (BIG) phone launch while actually perfecting it on this one as a like for like replacement component. Though strangely the AD would be perfect for tempting the concept of liquid metal wouldn’t it.

  2. I really can’t see how Liquidmetal could have been used for an incremental update to the iPhone like we have with the iP5S/C. It’s far more likely that these patents are to cover the next gen phone, the iP6, which will obviously be a significant design and technology upgrade from the existing phone line, like the 5 was from the 4/4s.
    FWIW, I much prefer the steel frame of the 4 to the softer alloy frame of the 5/5S, it just feels so much more substantial and solid; mine is still in use every day, alongside my 5, just not as a phone.

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