LiquidMetal made with… FRICK, screw this memory. I know it. I KNOW it. One of the alloys is radio transparent to some frequencies. I know that others are transparent to different frequencies, but I only remember the name of the element for one of them…
ZIRCONIUM! That's it.
Go back to the basics. Read Liquidmetal's web site - they actually do a pretty good job of describing it.
You can not have a liquidmetal product made from a single element. You need an alloy of different metals chosen in such a way the the different sizes of the metal atoms prevent crystallization. Zirconium can be one of the metals, but there must be others.
Zirconium is not liquid metal for the reasons given above. However, some liquidmetal alloys contain zirconium. In fact, I think the most common one contains a lot of zirconium.
They also have a patent on using both together because both can be moulded and neither shrinks appreciably when it cools. So they could conceivably do a case that's all curvy and cool with some areas shiny liquid metal and other areas coloured crystal etc. This is one of the reasons I find this particular design to be dull as dishwater. There is so much cool stuff they *could* do, but all they've done with this design (if it is theirs), is f*ck up the aspect ratio and reach for that old standard ... the "unibody" frame. Yawn.
The more I look at this design the more I think it's about making manufacturing and servicing easier, it has nothing to do with what the consumers really want or making it look cool or interesting. it looks like the Home button could be easier to replace for instance, and the top and bottom sections look to be easy to pop off and tinker with the insides.
Exactly. The advantage of Liquidmetal products is that you can form them in near-net shape. Look at the speaker holes of the alleged prototype. To make that part out of a conventional metal, you need to drill each of those holes separately. With LM, you simply build them into the mold. Same with all the other fine features and ports. Even with LM material being somewhat more expensive than aluminum, the total cost for production might be much lower. This is exactly the kind of product that LM is suited for.
In addition, LM has stated that they have started commercial sales to several companies whose name they can not provide. Obviously, that doesn't prove anything, but it would be consistent.
Thunderbolt needs Intel approval and they won't get that with an ARM device. There's no advantage to it on an iOS device anyway as the storage is too slow. Last but not least, the cables are very expensive. They wouldn't ship a $50 cable with every iPhone that only a fraction of the buyers could use.
First, Intel has already approved Apple's use of Thunderbolt. They don't need to approve every single application.
As for the cables, you don't think that the cost would come down if Apple purchased 100 million of them?
I don't think it's likely, either, but neither of your reasons is that compelling.