Apple originally signed an agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies in 2010, but other than the occasional reminder that it exists, the partnership does not appear to have been fruitful as of yet. Considering how many Apple devices had hit the market without so much as a trace of the metal alloys, it was safe to assume the agreement might be dormant until it expired, but MacRumors has discovered a brand new collection of patents that give some indication that Apple has indeed been working to make use of the Liquidmetal alloys. More →
While we still don’t know for certain whether the next iPhone will feature an indestructible LiquidMetal case, a new patent filing flagged by MacRumors suggests that Apple and LiquidMetal are drawing closer to incorporating amorphous metal alloys into Apple devices. Specifically, MacRumors notes that the patent proposes a solution to one of the main engineering challenges that Apple has faced with bringing LiquidMetal’s alloy to its products by describing “how molten BMG [bulk metallic glass] could be continuously poured onto a shallow bath of molten tin, where it would flow to form a sheet.” Of course, LiquidMetal iPhone rumors have been around for years now, so there’s no way of knowing just how close the two companies are to making amorphous metal Apple devices a reality.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday, Liquidmetal Technologies revealed that it has extended its agreement with Apple to continue licensing its intellectual property for an additional two years. The agreement provides the Cupertino-based company with complete access to all of Liquidmetal’s intellectual property for commercialization in consumer electronics. Apple acquired the rights to Liquidmetal Technologies’s “amorphous metal alloys” in August 2010, and soon after was looking to hire engineers to work with the material. It has long been rumored that the iPhone-maker will release a smartphone with a case that utilizes the technology, although recent leaks have debunked the latest reports. Apple’s new agreement is extended through to February 5th, 2014. More →