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Apple just patented the iPhone of your dreams

Published May 27th, 2014 12:25PM EDT
Apple iPhone Patent Liquidmetal Sapphire

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It looks like Apple really does have plans to make an iPhone with a Liquidmetal chassis at some point in the future, although it likely won’t be the iPhone 6. AppleInsider has found a recently granted Apple patent that details a way to embed a sapphire or glass display into a chassis made from amorphous metal that AppleInsider says must be a reference to Liquidmetal.

What makes this patent intriguing is that it describes a new method of fixing the iPhone’s display to the device’s body that includes injecting a metal molding around its edges. Typically Apple has injected plastic around the iPhone display’s molding to fix it to the device’s side bezels but AppleInsider says that with this new process, “the liquid metal flows through a mold’s cavity that contains the transparent material and hardens at a predetermined rate of contraction, ‘grabbing’ the glass and eliminating tolerance issues,” thus creating “an integrally formed display assembly.”

As we mentioned earlier, it’s highly unlikely that this process will be used for the iPhone 6, although that device could very well have a sapphire display. Liquidmetal inventor Atakan Peker said back in 2012 that it would probably take Apple between three to five years to use it in a mass-produced product so we’re likely looking at 2015 at the very earliest before an iPhone with Liquidmetal becomes a reality.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.