Liquidmetal alloys represent the first enabling materials technology since the creation of thermoplastics and possess characteristics that make them superior in many ways to other commercially-viable materials. First, they have an "amorphous" atomic structure, which is unprecedented for structural metals. Second, they include a multi-component chemical composition, which can be optimized for various properties and processes. Finally, they lend themselves to process technology similar to that possessed by plastics.
Apple entered into an agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies for an exclusive license to use its technologies in the consumer electronics field back in 2010.
Tech enthusiasts have eagerly been waiting to see what Apple will do with the technology; however, no major use has yet been spotted.
Ahead of the iPhone 5 launch, it was predicted that the device might feature a LiquidMetal chassis but that didn't pan out.
Now, BGR's Jonathan S. Geller predicts that Apple will use the material for the case of the iPhone 5S.
Referencing the leaked SIM card trays we've seen several times in the past few months, Geller writes, "there was something else I noticed about the SIM tray but couldn’t put my finger on. These trays were not cut out of aluminum… they looked injection molded. But out of what? Well I finally figured out what they are — they are manufactured out of LiquidMetal and I remembered why I knew this in the back of my mind… because I have already owned several phones that were made out of LiquidMetal — Vertus."
He notes that like the Vertu Ascent, the SIM card trays are almost a powdery metal that feature incredible strength and durability. Geller also suggests that alongside the LiquidMetal case, Apple is also investigating the use of sapphire crystal to cover its displays. This has actually been confirmed already by Vertu COO Perry Oosting; however, Apple is said to have shelved the project because it was unsuitable for production in huge quantities.
We'll have to wait until fall to see if the prediction is accurate, unless Apple has delayed the iPhone 5S for a 4.3-inch display.