Apple mulling use of alloys in new iPhone, hint Liquidmetal patent filings: Report

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Apple seems be interested in incorporating Liquidmetal’s metal alloys for its future iOS products. The Cupertino tech firm signed an agreement with Caltech’s Liquidmetal Technologies back in 2010 for using the Liquidmetal’s amorphous metal alloys, which include characteristics like high strength, corrosion resistance and light weight.

A series of 17 Liquidmetal patent applications was published last Thursday, and according toMacRumors, the investors listed in the patents are said to be Apple employees who have been working closely with the Liquidmetal work in the past.

The first patent filing is for a pressure sensor made out of Liquidmetal alloys, to be used in buttons or switches. The representational image used does look quite a bit like an iOS device home button. Here, the strength and durability of the alloys would probably be beneficial.

Another application that was published last month detailed how Liquidmetal alloys can be used as a material for tamper-resistant screws, which would protect the device from unauthorized access. Once again, strength and durability are likely the two qualities of the company’s alloys best suited for this application.

The third patent mentions the use of Liquidmetal’s alloys as a substrate for touch sensors, to possibly be included found in Apple’s iOS devices, the iPad, iPhone and iPod. The use of alloys would result in offering a greater precision for touch sensing to the users.

The remaining patents, as mentioned by Mac Rumours, are said to be technical in nature, all including the use Liquidmetal’s alloy in various other ways – such as a method coating regular metal with Liquidmetal alloys.

All these patents were filed in June and July of 2012, indicating the firm might have made a good amount of success with this particular technology and might include the likes of such in the upcoming Apple iPhone, iPad or other iOS devices.

Talking about the next iPhone and iPads, some purported leaks of the upcoming Apple iPhone 6’s metal frame were surfaced online, which hinted the device to be wider than the existing Apple iPhone 5s and slightly shorter in size. However, it is too early to jump to any conclusions, as the authenticity of the images and the frame itself remains to be confirmed.


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