Before the leaked parts surfaced which supposedly offered a clear representation of Apple’s upcoming iPhone, many reckoned the Cupertino company would make use of its exclusivity over the heavily-lauded Liquidmetal formula.
Robust, light and easily moldable, it would certainly revolutionize the way gadgets are designed, and although Tim Cook’s company has a deal with its creators which prevents others from utilizing it, that doesn’t mean to say it will be used on near-future product design. The big electronics companies make a habit of gathering patents like Cold War weaponry, and that appears to be the case here, for now.
The contractual agreement has now been extended a further two years, so while the next iPhone – reckoned to be landing this Fall – will probably not be smothered in delicious Liquidmetal – the fruit company could intend to use it on a future product.
Pound for pound, it’s quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen, but as those behind the concoction have stated time and again, it hasn’t quite yet reached maturity. Much research has gone into improving the current state of Liquidmetal, but those familiar with this particular subject tend to believe it will not be ready for nigh-on five years.
We’ve seen plenty of concept Liquidmetal iPhone designs, and have been well and truly dazzled by what we’ve been treated to thus far. Although the iPhone 4S is fairly strong and secure, a drop on a hard surface – at the wrong angle – can have that Gorilla Glass shell shattered into a million pieces before you’ve even realized it has hit the deck.
Mobile device users long for the day when their prized smartphone and tablet devices can hold their own against the elements and day-to-day wear and tear, and although it doesn’t look as though they will be able to in the immediate future, the development of Liquidmetal, along with Apple’s so-called deal with Liquipel – which covers gadgets in an invisible, waterproofing film – suggests the devices of tomorrow will be able to withstand even the fiercest of challenges.
Until that time, the closest users will get to seeing Apple’s Liquidmetal exclusivity bear any fruit is in the SIM ejector tool which, despite being incredibly scrawny, is actually very strong.