April 19, 2012 at 10:49 AM ET
A report out of Korea suggests that the next iPhone may be made out of "Liquidmetal." As awesome as the material is, however, this could be a disappointment to many a "Terminator" fan, because the smartphone will be nothing like the T-1000.
Kim In-soon of Korea IT News, an online publication specializing in information technology news, reports that unnamed industry sources say that the next-generation iPhone is going to have a body made of Liquidmetal — which consists of "zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper and so forth." This should give the device "an outer surface smooth like liquid," In-soon adds.
To be sure, despite this liquid-like smoothness, the material is most certainly quite solid. Its benefit in an iPhone would be that, for being particularly strong and wear-resistant, it is reasonably light.
Apple purchased the exclusive rights to use Liquidmetal in electronic products in 2010, as the folks at Apple Insider point out. The Cupertino-based company has already used the material in some non-essential components — such as the SIM-card ejector-tool included with iPhones and iPads — as well as "a number of other internal parts and small mechanical components," IHS senior principal analyst Kevin Keller told Wired.
It is possible that these earlier uses of Liquidmetal served as trial runs, and that Apple is now ready to make a product encased in the material. Then again, Apple may not want to make a phone entirely out of metal, since it can have downsides when it comes to cellular reception. We'll just add that thought to the long list of things we think we know about the next iPhone.
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