Liquidmetal created SIM ejector tool for Apple's iPhone, iPad

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Liquidmetal, the maker of a super-strong metal alloy that recently signed an exclusive deal with Apple, already partnered with the Cupertino, Calif., company to create the materials for the SIM ejector tool that has shipped with the iPhone and 3G iPad.



Atakan Peker, co-creator of the Liquidmetal alloy, told Cult of Mac that he recognized the metal when he opened his iPhone 3G years ago. The site also independently confirmed the use of the alloy as a test of the company's manufacturing capabilities.



In addition, people familiar with the matter also informed AppleInsider that the SIM ejector tool found in previous-generation iPhones was made of the alloy from Liquidmetal. In the U.S., the iPhone 4 does not ship with the SIM ejector tool.



"That's my metal," Peker reportedly said. "I recognized it immediately. Take it from an expert, that's Liquidmetal." He added that the alloy is "practically unbendable by hand unless you want to hurt or cut your fingers."



Peker is co-inventor of Liquidmetal, an alloy created at the California Institute of Technology. Last week, AppleInsider revealed that Apple had entered into an exclusive agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies, the corporation that owns the invention.



The amorphous, non-crystalline material is 2.5 times the strength of commonly used titanium alloy and 1.5 times the hardness of stainless steel found in portable electronic devices. Introduced for commercial applications in 2003, the product has since been found in medical equipment, sporting goods, and equipment used by the U.S. Department of Defense.



iPhone 3G SIM card ejector tool. Photo via Flickr user Jamie McCall.



Liquidmetal Technologies has granted all of its intellectual property assets to Apple, under a worldwide agreement that gives Apple the exclusive rights to use the alloy in electronic products. Liquidmetal is still allowed to license its alloy to other companies for use outside of markets where Apple competes.



The deal between Apple and Liquidmetal is believed to be worth at least $10.9 million, as the metal maker announced last week that its deal with Apple allowed it to immediately pay off that much in debt. The debt payments were made Aug. 5, the very same day that Apple and Liquidmetal entered into their agreement.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    Liquid metal vs paperclip for the ejector tool. I can always find a paperclip, but can't seem to find that ejector tool at times.
  • Reply 2 of 67
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The deal between Apple and Liquidmetal is believed to be worth at least $10.9 million, as the metal maker announced last week that its deal with Apple allowed it to immediately pay off that much in debt. The debt payments were made Aug. 5, the very same day that Apple and Liquidmetal entered into their agreement.



    Might be worth more. If they felt they could eventually pay a reasonable debt off, maybe they only used a portion of this deal and they've got the rest collecting interest somewhere...
  • Reply 3 of 67
    esummersesummers Posts: 909member
    A company that actually makes something useful (the metal, not the unbendable paperclip)... too bad they are in debt. Tired of hearing about these IP Holding companies pillaging the industry.



    My guess is Apple is using the metal to make an Iron Man suit for Jonathan Ives. :-)
  • Reply 4 of 67
    Wow, they were really put to the test when charged with creating the SIM ejector tool. Since my iPhone4 didn't ship with one of these marvels of engineering, I was forced to develop my own: a paperclip.
  • Reply 5 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Liquid metal vs paperclip for the ejector tool. I can always find a paperclip, but can't seem to find that ejector tool at times.



    Glass half-empty much?
  • Reply 6 of 67
    I didn't get any ejector tool with my old iPhone 3G.



    Why is Apple in bed with this company? Are they planning to make future iPhones with metal backs again? Did someone in the company finally realize making a phone completely out of glass was not a great idea?
  • Reply 7 of 67
    esummersesummers Posts: 909member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post


    I didn't get any ejector tool with my old iPhone 3G.



    Why is Apple in bed with this company? Are they planning to make future iPhones with metal backs again? Did someone in the company finally realize making a phone completely out of glass was not a great idea?



    You realize that metal blocks radio transmission. Nobody has had any problems with the glass. It is a huge improvement over plastic backs.
  • Reply 8 of 67
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post


    Why is Apple in bed with this company? Are they planning to make future iPhones with metal backs again? Did someone in the company finally realize making a phone completely out of glass was not a great idea?



    Maybe Apple is planning on a whole new line of products:



    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patentl...mart-bike.html



    made from Liquid Metal



    http://www.liquidmetal.com/applicati...p.sporting.asp

  • Reply 9 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by esummers View Post


    You realize that metal blocks radio transmission. Nobody has had any problems with the glass. It is a huge improvement over plastic backs.



    Lighter, thinner, stronger laptops, ipads, and iphones... who needs em, right? cause those are never dropped or carried around
  • Reply 10 of 67
    stuffestuffe Posts: 391member
    I thought my 3G didn't come with the tool for years until I got my iPhone 4 and saw where it was cunningly placed...



    Weird that they don't ship the tool with iPhone 4 in the US, but do elsewhere? Why?



    And why have something so over engineered in the first place? Most people will use it once, maybe twice...On the other hand, it's nice to see the use of quality materials instead of monkey metal and squeaky plastics in my kit I suppose?
  • Reply 11 of 67
    jb510jb510 Posts: 124member
    Inteseresting product for a test run of the material.



    I do believe this stuff is radio frequency transparent, meaning you could replace the back of iPhones and ipads with it... as well as laptop cases although I expect that to be limited by cost.
  • Reply 12 of 67
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    What an odd use for a new supermetal. 99+% of them will be thrown away without ever being touched. I wonder if I can find my old iPhone box and see this thing. It does say something about Apple's attention to detail though.
  • Reply 13 of 67
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    AI previous Discussion on Apple and Liquidmetal [email protected]



    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles..._11m_debt.html



    LmT site @



    http://www.liquidmetal.com/index/



    Beside the speculation that the material from LmT will be cast into cases for iPods, iPhones or MBP, there is the possibility that coatings may be applied to the cases to make it more affordable. Castings presently are costly and coatings may be the way to go--see



    http://coatings.liquidmetal.com/

  • Reply 14 of 67
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    So, its a liquid metal paperclip
  • Reply 15 of 67
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    This liquid metal alloy uses some expensive metals. It remains to be seen how cost effective it will be for such items at the iPad and laptop cases. In most products, an Aluminum alloy is more than enough. However, this company's product may have better uses in defense, sports, etc.



    However, this company has been around for a while and sales are paltry. If they were for real the sales would be in $billions, starting with the sports industry.... for everything from bikes, rackets, golf clubs, etc.



    Still, I just made a gamble bet of a few thousand shares. It is a penny stock.
  • Reply 16 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Glass half-empty much?



    Depends on the topic.
  • Reply 17 of 67
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post


    I didn't get any ejector tool with my old iPhone 3G.



    Why is Apple in bed with this company? Are they planning to make future iPhones with metal backs again? Did someone in the company finally realize making a phone completely out of glass was not a great idea?



    I suspect that Apple has considered the facts before investing $10 + million in Liquidmetal. They probably have SOME idea why they want it.
  • Reply 18 of 67
    A paperclip made from Rearden Metal? It will revolutionize the world.
  • Reply 19 of 67
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    This liquid metal alloy uses some expensive metals. It remains to be seen how cost effective it will be for such items at the iPad and laptop cases. In most products, an Aluminum alloy is more than enough. However, this company's product may have better uses in defense, sports, etc.



    For USB flash drive



    http://www.motivators.com/38661-cust...s.html#pricing



    http://www.everythingusb.com/sandisk...anium_2gb.html



    Can also use as coatings as mentioned in my post above or see



    http://coatings.liquidmetal.com/



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    However, this company has been around for a while and sales are paltry. If they were for real the sales would be in $billions, starting with the sports industry.... for everything from bikes, rackets, golf clubs, etc.



    See following regarding Liquidmetal Tech. in sports equipment:



    http://www.liquidmetal.com/applicati...p.sporting.asp
  • Reply 20 of 67
    I have two of those tools! They're full of science!
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