New iPhone: What Is Liquid Metal?


Apple is unveiling its newest devices and software in a release event this Tuesday, September 10. Reports suggest that Apple will unveil two new phone models (the 5s, and a low-cost "5c" version of the popular iPhone) as well as a new iPad model. The company is also expected to release its newest software design, iOS7

Live stream of the release available will be available here.

Rumors surfaced early this summer that Tuesday's Apple iPhone 5s release could reveal devices cased in liquid metal.

Apple bought patented fabrication processing right from now-partner company Liquidmetal Technologies in 2010. With renewals, Apple currently has an exclusive agreement with Liquidmetal through early 2014 to use the material in consumer electronics. It has not yet been incorporated into available devices.

According to Electronista, "The material is a group of alloys that have an atomic structure more similar to glass, with an amorphous quality," allowing it to be delicately molded while maintaining strength.

Dr. Atakan Peker, one of the researchers behind Liquidmetal, says its feel is truly innovative. "In a thin card or rod form, it feels much more flexible than stainless steel or aluminum. However, as you bend it more, it feels much stronger and will require much more force to bend... One can think of Liquidmetal alloy as a much stronger plastic."

A key benefit of the technology is its scratch-resistant quality. Apple’s iPhone 5C, its new budget phone expected to be announced Tuesday, is rumored to be the first Apple product to use Liquid Metal coating, giving the product increased durability.