Despite reports that Apple will utilize “liquid metal” technology in its upcoming iPhone 5, making us all feel like we are living in a Terminator film, Atakan Peker, one of the engineers who developed the alloy, told Business Insider that we will not be seeing his invention used to construct an entire device, at least not within the next few years.
“Given the size of MacBook and scale of Apple products,” he said, “I think it’s unlikely that Liquidmetal casing will be used in MacBooks in the near term. It’s more likely in the form of small component such as a hinge or bracket. A MacBook casing, such as a unibody, will take two to four more years to implement.”
While specifically discussing MacBooks, Pekar’s arguments against implementation of his development -which apple acquired the exclusive rights to in 2011- in the near term would seem to apply to phones as well. Thus far, the technology has only been used by Apple in making SIM card holders.
According to MacRumors, “While Peker does not have direct knowledge of Apple’s plans for Liquidmetal alloys, he does expect that the company will seek to make a major impact with it and to use it in a breakthrough product down the road. In Peker’s view, Apple will likely take advantage of the alloys’ strength and durability, as well as the ease with which they can be cast into complex shapes, to bring a unique product to the market.”
Liquid metal will eventually make for incredibly light and strong phones and other devices and Apple’s acquisition of the rights to it fueled speculation that it will be used in the new iPhone 5.
Korean news site ETNews had previously reported that:
“The next flagship phones of [Apple and Samsung] are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S3 and liquid metal for iPhone 5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts. The new phase of the rivalry is because neither one of them can get a decisive edge over the other solely with its OS and AP specifications, features or design.”