Apple is the only electronics manufacturer that can use Liquidmetal for another two years.
The Liquidmetal material is a strong and light material which Apple may include in the iPhone 5 design. While rumors suggest that the iPhone 5 will not be made of a Liquidmetal back, or a full Liquidmetal case, odds are Apple will include some Liquidmetal parts inside the iPhone 5 or as part of the iPhone 5 case to further test the durability of the material.
News of the Liquidmetal exclusivity extension comes from Slashgear, who discovered the extension in Liquidmetal Technologies’ SEC filings. Under the new agreement, Apple is the only company with access to Liquidmetal Technologies’ advances and developments.
The only Liquidmetal part Apple has shipped is the SIM card removal tool for the iPhone and iPad. We’ll know if the iPhone 5 uses any Liquidmetal parts when Apple releases the new iPhone this fall. I expect iFixit will teardown the iPhone 5 overnight and let us know if the new iPhone uses any Liquidmetal parts on the inside.
For a closer look at what Liquidmetal is and why we would love to see this strong material in the iPhone 5, check out the video below showing Liquidmetal in use in a high-end watch.
iPhone 5 Rumors
We expect Apple will announce the iPhone 5 release date this fall, in September or October. The next generation iPhone, Apple’s sixth iPhone, may not carry the iPhone 5 name, but it is the name many are using to describe the new iPhone.
The iPhone 5 should ship with 4G LTE connectivity, delivering download and upload speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G. Most major U.S. carriers will be ready for a 4G LTE iPhone this fall, and Apple risks losing users if it does not include 4G LTE at this stage.
Leaks suggest Apple is planning to announce an iPhone 5 with a 4-inch display, but the display will grow taller, not wider. This change would deliver a screen better suited for watching HD movies and would allow Apple to use a taller, thinner battery in the iPhone 5.
The video above shows what a taller iPhone 5 might look like, based on the leaked parts and leaked iPhone 5 schematics.
The iPhone 5 may also pack in a number of new features including NFC for using credit cards as part of Passbook in iOS 6, better iPad integration and tighter integration with Mac OS X.