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Rumor: Apple's next iPhone to have glass replaced with Liquidmetal - Page 2

post #41 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

How will this material improve our mobile devices? Why do we want our metals to retain more energy? What design implications does this have?

(My apologies if all these things are explained in the video, but I am unable to watch it with sound.)


The sound track says "We can use this incredible metal to make phones with backs that don't bloody f*(&*(&ing crack." The speaker has a British accent, so I'm taking him at his word.
post #42 of 106
So...the next iPhone's a Terminator, huh?
post #43 of 106
I read somewhere that the "liquidmetal" process could be used with whatever compound is in cubic zirconia gems... And that the result would be clearer than glass (visually transparent) and be a very hard/strong surface.

If this is possible, maybe Apple plans on replacing the front glass with this material.

If I can find any references, I'll update this post.


Edit: Here's one reference & a quote about 60% through the article:

Quote:
Update August 9, 2010: On August 5, 2010, Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc., entered into a Master Transaction Agreement with Apple Inc.

Additionally, the patent uniquely states that the display could be made of any suitable transparent material such as the exotic synthetic sapphire. So what did Apple end up using in their new iPhone 4? Aluminosilicate glass – the very same glass used in the windshields of helicopters and high-speed trains. Hell - let it be known that this kind of glass is also used in space-vehicle windows.

Behind Apple's Stunningly Crafted iPhone is a Patent
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post #44 of 106
A liquidmetal unibody. Just like the new MacBook (pro) and Air line.

J.
post #45 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

The NEW iPhone... Now made with Liquid Metal! 'It melts near your mouth, not in your hands!' Or is it 'It melts in your hands, not near your mouth!'
/
/
/

Maybe: The new iPhone! It has a back as slippery as a liquid!
post #46 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkulla View Post

Reardon Steel finally finds a market. They just don't lay that many miles of railroad tracks these days...

My brother Atlas just shrugged when he heard about it.

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post #47 of 106
i really hope this rumor is true. the advantages are pretty staggering.....

1) liquid metal is lighter than aluminum but stronger than titanium. it's easier to cast and incredibly rigid. it's also less expensive than aluminum. it's the perfect material for making thin, strong unibody cases.

2) it's highly scuff and dent resistant. far more so than aluminum...or especially plastic.

3) it can be made radio-transparent so it won't interfere with antennas

4) apple bought an exclusive, worldwide license in perpetuity to use this metal in consumer electronics. others can license it for other uses, but apple has this one to themselves.

liquidmetal would also be an ideal material for the macbook air. super light, super rigid and no interference problems. it would be an amazing technical advantage that would be difficult for other companies to emulate, at least at first.

i really hope this rumor is true.
post #48 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

This may be nitpicking. But is it possible to read the wrong implication?

Yes, here I'll demonstrate:

the wrong implication

Now can we please get back to speculating about what Liquidmetal may, or may not do given that all most of us actually know about it is that it is a mixture of metals, it makes a superb SIM removal tool, and will cause one to focus on a glass cylinder for 30% longer than most other metals tested so far.
post #49 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Video is impressive...not sure how it pertains to the iPhone but I think anything would be better than the current "glass" back of the 4s. It's just not comfortable or easy to hold.

You'd get several chances at catching your phone before it lands face down?
post #50 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by drandall View Post

2) it's highly scuff and dent resistant. far more so than aluminumor especially plastic.

What about scratches?

Quote:
liquidmetal would also be an ideal material for the macbook air. super light, super rigid and no interference problems.

LiquidMetal AirPort family of products

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #51 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by SixPenceRicher View Post

This is highly desirable characteristic in any product or form which could be dropped or exposed to harsh conditions. If you drop a device with a rigid metal case (which doesn't effectively store that energy), then the case will have a tendency to break. Glass is a perfect example of this characteristic: glass is brittle and is a poor conductor of energy. Therefore, when subject to a drop, glass will have a tendency to shatter (releasing the energy) -- instead of absorbing the impact elastically, then releasing the energy in the form of heat while attempting to "spring back" to its former shape).

If phone cases are made out of this stuff, it will make for an exceptionally durable phone. Phone cases will also have less tendency to become marred from a drop, as the metal will be highly absorbent of the energy in the impact zone and won't dent as easily. If the phone's glass display is somehow protected by this material (for instance, glass recessed with a Liquidmetal lip protecting it), then the metal will have the tendency to not only protect the glass from impact (obvious), but the metal will also have a tendency to absorb the impact energy and release the energy in a way that doesn't cause either the glass or the metal body to crack, and that energy will be released in the form of motion (springiness) and heat.

Good stuff, and a MASSIVE differentiator in the phone/device market.

Unfortunately this is wrong. Perfectly elastic collisions release NO heat. The durability of a material has nothing to do with its elasticity. Tungsten carbide is much more elastic than steel, yet shatters on sufficient impact. Mar resistance is dependent on many things, including surface hardness, texture and substrate resiliency. This explains why silane coatings on polycarbonate (think scratch resistant eyewear) are more mar resistant than the highly polished stainless steel backs of iPods.

I have been curious what Apple would do with its exclusive license to liquid metal technology. Some of Liquid Metal's alloys are thixotropic, with low melting temperatures. This makes them suitable for injection molding, which could be a very cost effective way to produce parts, even if material costs are high. If molded Liquid Metal exhibits good dimensional stability, it might hold the kinds of tolerances we've come to expect in the fit and finish of Apple products. The accurate and stable subtractive (machining) process used to make current unibody housings is relatively expensive.

Liquid metal could also be used as a surface treatment for less expensive metal substrates, perhaps analogous to the anodizing used on Apple's aluminum products. I have no idea whether the resulting surface treatments would be esthetically pleasing. I presume Apple would not expose a liquid metal surface if it wasn't.

Regardless of its benefits, Liquid Metal is still metal, and so creates the same RF issues as aluminum.
post #52 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Good question. Does implication refer to the author's implied conclusion, the reader's, or both? Can we differentiate between a conclusion that can be drawn versus one that is drawn?

I believe the word inference does that job.
What DaHarder inferred wasn't what Tallest Skill implied.
post #53 of 106
Everything we know about Liquidmetal is based on a small company's limited production. Given that Apple has signed a deal with that company, I would think that economics of scale, profits and R&D all take a sharp uptick, suggesting that cost and potential applications aren't necessarily what we think they are. And given that it's Apple, we can be pretty sure that we won't hear anything about that till a product is shipping.

What was "very expensive" when used in tiny amounts in a handful of products might be "pretty cheap" once Apple starts using it in a few hundred million iDevices. And given the money to be made via such sales (either from per unit profit, direct investment from Apple or longer term contract) the Liquidmetal folks might have the resources to expand upon their vision into yet unseen innovations. Again, it that's happening it's a given that Apple has arranged to keep it tightly under wraps. In other words, I don't think it's necessarily reasonable to judge the technology by what we've seen to date, now that Apple is involved.
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post #54 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

I believe the word inference does that job.
What DaHarder inferred wasn't what Tallest Skill implied.

Here's a funny take on that distinction from Big Bang Theory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3s6YH2cHa0
post #55 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me either. Liquidmetal would *not* be radio transparent and as you say is prohibitively expensive.

I could see them doing it if they keep the external antenna as well and to give the new iPhone a back that is reminiscent of the old iPods but won't get scratched like they do. It seems like an awful lot of trouble and expense for just a "look" and a slightly lower incidence of back repairs.

Virtually any metallic substance can form a Faraday cage that will either inhibit or prevent RF loss (it doesn't need to be ferrous -- think about aluminum foil being used for signal capture or loss). So, I think the question is, just how much signal attenuation will occur with the Liquidmetal case, and is it considered acceptable loss given the other positive attributes of the material when used as a casing for the phone.
post #56 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimpsen View Post

Unfortunately this is wrong. Perfectly elastic collisions release NO heat. The durability of a material has nothing to do with its elasticity. Tungsten carbide is much more elastic than steel, yet shatters on sufficient impact. Mar resistance is dependent on many things, including surface hardness, texture and substrate resiliency. This explains why silane coatings on polycarbonate (think scratch resistant eyewear) are more mar resistant than the highly polished stainless steel backs of iPods.

Who said anything about perfectly elastic collisions? I certainly didn't state it, nor did I imply it. And, where there is inefficiency in the modulus of elasticity of this material, the residual energy release will most likely be in form of heat (basic physics). There is going to be elastic modulus inefficiency in a phone case using Liquidmetal -- we just don't have enough information at this point to determine what that coefficient is.
post #57 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new, questionable rumor from Korea claims that Apple's next-generation iPhone will replace its glass back with the super-durable Liquidmetal alloy.

A Liquidmetal enclosure could be really beautiful and very durable. But it may be too expensive and not recyclable enough. Still, there's hope. If the manufacturing process can be streamlined to make it cost effective, and/or if the materials can be changed to be slightly less expensive Apple can and will use Liquidmetal. (The original Liquidmetal formula includes platinum, which is $1577 per troy ounce as I type, as opposed to gold at $1639 per troy ounce.)

One of Liquidmetal's assets is that it is very durable yet it can be cast, like plastic, into complex shapes. And casting complex shapes is faster than machining them. And "faster" can translate to "cheaper" in manufacturing.

My 2012 iPhone wish list remains the same:

Things I'm expecting in the "new iPhone":

- Metal back
- Narrower bezel (with 3.7" to 3.9" screen size)
- Possible minor decrease in thickness
- Possible minor change to overall dimensions

Things I want but am not expecting this year:

- MagSafe dock connector (for easier connecting/disconnecting)
- LiquidMetal back (for scratch-proofness)
- Wireless earbuds
- Optical zoom on rear-facing camera

Things I want that might never happen:

- Inductive charging

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post #58 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

How would that work since there will still be holes for the 2 mics, speaker headphone jack, Home button and Volumn and Mute buttons that will affect any seal, not to mention the screws that I assume will be still be used to hold the casing components together?

I think waterproofing would be great but what about the spray coating that was demoed at CES this year?

Panasonic Eluga is rather waterproof already: IP57 - rated to last 30 minutes submerged to 1.5m



Liquid Metal has been used in phones before - notably by Samsung in 2002 in the SCH-X199 http://www.wallstreet-online.de/disk...hnologies-lqmt
post #59 of 106
Just curious - will this make for a better phone use experience?
post #60 of 106
From a PR statement made by Liquidmetal for the Samsung SCH-X199 release in 2002:

"Liquidmetal Technologies (www.liquidmetal.com) is the leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of products made from amorphous alloys. Amorphous alloys are unique materials that are characterized by a random atomic structure, in contrast to the crystalline atomic structure possessed by ordinary metals and alloys. Bulk Liquidmetal® alloys are two to three times stronger than commonly used titanium alloys, harder than tool steel, and relatively non-corrosive and wear resistant. Bulk Liquidmetal alloys can also be molded into precision net-shaped parts similar to plastics, resulting in intricate and sophisticated engineered designs. Liquidmetal Technologies is the first company to produce amorphous alloys in commercially viable bulk form, enabling significant improvements in products across a wide array of industries. The combination of a super alloy`s performance coupled with unique processing advantages positions Liquidmetal alloys for what the company believes will be The Third Revolution(TM) in material science."

http://www.wallstreet-online.de/disk...hnologies-lqmt
post #61 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] Korea IT News, which said Apple's sixth-generation iPhone will be made of zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper "and so forth." [...]

Apple applied for a patent on using zirconium dioxide-based ceramics for portable electronics enclosures. They're very durable, and also radio transparent:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...e_casings.html

Here's the Wikidoc entry for zirconium dioxide, complete with AppleInsider reference. (It appears to be a copy of the original Wikipedia entry, from which the Apple patent paragraph has been removed.)

http://www.wikidoc.org/index.php/Zirconium_dioxide

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post #62 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I read somewhere that the "liquidmetal" process could be used with whatever compound is in cubic zirconia gems... And that the result would be clearer than glass (visually transparent) and be a very hard/strong surface.

If this is possible, maybe Apple plans on replacing the front glass with this material.

If I can find any references, I'll update this post.


Edit: Here's one reference & a quote about 60% through the article:



Behind Apple's Stunningly Crafted iPhone is a Patent

I have a little knowledge(=dangerous amount) of zirconia from use but not in it's cubic form. Cubic zirconia isnt made from a compound, just pure zirconia. At elevated temperatures it goes through a phase transition from its amorphous form to the cubic form which has properties somewhat similar to diamonds. I'm curious if the zirconia they use in some of the liquid metal has been subject to this phase transition or not. In its cubic form it isn't amorphous and in its amorphous form it's not transparent, but it is still a very hard material. I think the knives they make from it are still in an amorphous state.
I think this is a little tangential to your post but ,um, ya. That's what I know.
post #63 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by SixPenceRicher View Post

http://www.wallstreet-online.de/disk...hnologies-lqmt

It said: "Samsung teamed up with Liquidmetal Technologies to produce a super-thin LCD screen frame component for its innovative SCH-X199 mobile phone model."
post #64 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

(The original Liquidmetal formula includes platinum, which is $1577 per troy ounce as I type, as opposed to gold at $1639 per troy ounce.)



Wow. I had no idea that gold is going for more than platinum these days.
post #65 of 106
Mmmm...

I bought some LQMT at $0.16 on April 10...

I bought some more, today at $0.199...

Currently it is $0.2245


No big investment here, just playing a hunch (after doing some research)...

But, It is probably worth holding until the next iPhone release -- it could get some visibility!
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post #66 of 106
Is this rumor out of South, or North Korea?

(telephone rings at the home of a famous actor)

"Herro Aric Balrin. This is Kim Jong Un. I berieve you know my faver. Rong time, no see. Have you heard? Spoirer arert! The new iPhone will be made fwom riquid metar. I want one! Send me one as soon as dey are avairable, or Tina Fey wirr die a swow and painfur deaf!"
post #67 of 106
Isn't all metal liquid at some (high) temperature?

Is this some sort of plastic-metal mix?
post #68 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by softeky View Post

Yes, here I'll demonstrate:

the wrong implication

Now can we please get back to speculating about what Liquidmetal may, or may not do given that all most of us actually know about it is that it is a mixture of metals, it makes a superb SIM removal tool, and will cause one to focus on a glass cylinder for 30% longer than most other metals tested so far.

It's posts like this that make me wish AppleInsider had mod points
post #69 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Isn't all metal liquid at some (high) temperature?

Is this some sort of plastic-metal mix?

Yes to the first question. No to the second. The terms liquid and plastic describe properties of materials, not the actual material even though most people use the word plastic to refer to a class of material. Glass in its molten state exhibits properties that are described as plastic and liquid. Upon cooling, it no longer has those properties.
post #70 of 106
Is this really exciting news¿ I can really care less what materials are used. I always buy a secondary cover to protect all of my phones and tablets so they can use bamboo as far as I'm concerned. Actually bamboo sounds pretty cool, with maybe a magnesium skeleton.
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post #71 of 106
Another totally bogus rumor.

Apple has no intention of using any metal or glass in their future case designs.

Now that Greenpeace as labeled them "Evil", Apple will switch to cases made from hemp.
post #72 of 106
The problems with ceramic is that it is typically expensive and brittle. They have knives made out of ceramic Kyocerra and they may be sharp, but if you drop on on a hard surface, tile, concrete, that stuff chips and shatters. That is unless they figure out how to not make it brittle. Liquidmetal seems like the best alternative, but the biggest thing is how it does with reception. I am sure Apple understands the importance of having good reception, at least this has been brought to their attention, so if Liquidmetal does do well with reception, shielding, durability, etc., it is supposed to be much cheaper to fabricate than metal, so it might make their product better and cheaper to mfg. IF so, then i guess we'll see it on iPods, iPads, Laptops, Desktops, etc. over the course of the next year or so. If this is their future, then it might be safe to say that they might have an almost indestructible product, especially if some newer form of screen technology that won't shatter, which IS in development by at least one or two screen mfg. It's just a matter of time.
post #73 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Yes to the first question. No to the second. The terms liquid and plastic describe properties of materials, not the actual material even though most people use the word plastic to refer to a class of material. Glass in its molten state exhibits properties that are described as plastic and liquid. Upon cooling, it no longer has those properties.

In this case, I think "Liquidmetal" refers to neither material property, nor class of material. I think it's just marketing jargon (example: "Liquid Nails" adhesive products).
post #74 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Is this really exciting news¿ I can really care less what materials are used. I always buy a secondary cover to protect all of my phones and tablets so they can use bamboo as far as I'm concerned. Actually bamboo sounds pretty cool, with maybe a magnesium skeleton.





Root Cases - Wood And Bamboo iPhone Cases
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- Michael Lille -
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- Michael Lille -
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post #75 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Isn't all metal liquid at some (high) temperature?

Is this some sort of plastic-metal mix?

When you melt a metal it becomes liquid. When it cools and solidifies crystals form. With liquid metal, the alloy stays amorphous even after it has solidified, meaning the metals are all still thoroughly mixed together as crystals don't form.
post #76 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Isn't all metal liquid at some (high) temperature?

Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Is this some sort of plastic-metal mix?

No.

Regular metal is liquid at high temperatures and when cooled it crystallises, creating giant easy to exploit "seams" (for lack of a better word) where it will fracture under stress. Liquidmetal is based on a way of making the metal cool differently so that it doesn't crystallise and therefore is much less prone to fracturing or catastrophic breaking.

So it's more or less the same as any other metal, but with some trace elements added and created using a process that allows it to stay flexible without the typical weak points of regular metals that have been cooled in the usual way.

Typically it's main qualities are extra stiffness, strength and durability and resistance to impacts.

It's not radio transparent, but personally, I would guess the fact that it doesn't shrink when it cools like regular metals is really the quality that might make it interesting to Apple's designers.

But that's just me.
post #77 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





Root Cases - Wood And Bamboo iPhone Cases

Oh my gosh I love them, I must have that iPad case. Thank you, I didn't know they made them. I used to have a Asus sub notebook that was covered in Bamboo, I wonder if they still sell them.
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post #78 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMHut View Post

In this case, I think "Liquidmetal" refers to neither material property, nor class of material. I think it's just marketing jargon (example: "Liquid Nails" adhesive products).

Yes indeed. Thanks for the further clarification. Liquidmetal is just a trade name for their formulations of amorphous alloys.

Edit: actually in this case the liquid in liquidmetal is being used to describe its structural similarity to materials in a liquid state.
post #79 of 106
I would forcefully stomp on my iPhone before it bounced the 56th time.
post #80 of 106
How about just making the entire phone transparent using Gorilla Glass. Ever sense seeing that translucent PowerBook Duo in Hackers I have always wanted more see threw products.

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