While it may look pretty, Apple’s decision to build the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S almost entirely out of glass means that the handset isn’t really cut out for the dings and drops that our smartphones often have to endure. But the new iPhone could be a whole lot different. Built from liquidmetal, it could be one of the strongest smartphones money can buy.
According to “industry sources” for ETNews, Apple and Samsung will “shift the focus of their competition to new materials” this year. With the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S devices unable to gain any real edge over one another when it comes to operating system and specifications, the report notes, the two will use new materials to better distance themselves instead.
The Galaxy S III is expected to employ a ceramic body made by applying heat to non-metallic inorganic substances, which is said to be extremely light, strong, and comfortable for the user.
While the iPhone 5 will reportedly adopt a liquidmetal form, made from an alloy of zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper “and so forth,” that will provide it with a silky smooth surface and an incredibly durable body. In addition to this, ETNews believes it will make its debut at WWDC in June.
Apple has been expected to use liquidmetal in its products for some time, so it’s not hugely surprising to hear that its sixth-generation iPhone will be the first to adopt this material. The company already uses liquidmetal for its SIM eject tools that are bundled with every iPhone and 3G/4G-capable iPad.
What is slightly questionable, however, is that the device will get its unveiling at WWDC. Apple broke away from a June unveiling for the iPhone last year, choosing to announce the iPhone 4S in October instead. It seems logical that the Cupertino company will leave it until the fall again to launch the next device.