About four years ago, Apple signed an agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies that gave it exclusive rights to the company’s unique metal alloy material for use in consumer electronics products. To date, Apple has used the exciting new material to create exactly one thing that we know about: a SIM ejector tool.
Apple hasn’t given up on the material though, as a recent SEC filing reveals that Apple and Liquidmetal have extended their exclusive agreement for another year.
From the filing:
On May 19, 2014, Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc. (the “Company”) and Apple Inc. (“Apple”) entered into an second amendment (the “Second Amendment”) to the Master Transaction Agreement that was originally entered into on August 5, 2010 (the “MTA”) and amended on June 15, 2012 (the “First Amendment”). Under the MTA and the First Amendment, the Company was obligated to contribute to Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, a special purpose subsidiary of the Company, all intellectual property acquired or developed by the Company from August 5, 2010 through February 5, 2014, and all intellectual property held by Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC was exclusively licensed on a perpetual basis to Apple for the field of use of consumer electronic products under the MTA. Under the Second Amendment, the parties agreed to amend the MTA and the First Amendment to extend the February 5, 2014 date to February 5, 2015.
Apple’s plans for the unique metal alloy are still completely unknown, but they could someday involve Liquidmetal enclosures for the iPhone, iPad or even MacBook.
It is unlikely that we’ll see anything that significant materialize soon, however. In 2012, Liquidmetal inventor Atakan Peker said that Apple was likely still 3-5 years away from using his invention in devices on a large scale.