Don’t Expect A Liquidmetal MacBook Or iPhone From Apple For Several Years

Don’t Expect A Liquidmetal MacBook Or iPhone From Apple For Several Years

Liquidmetal iPhone concept by NAK Studio • http://bit.ly/ITBqrf

Rumors have been flying about Apple’s next-gen iPhone featuring a liquidmetal alloy casing, unlike the glass backing that currently cradles the iPhone 4 and 4S’s precious internals. Liquidmetal would assumedly create a lighter iPhone that’s also more durable and scratch resistant. There’s also been rumors that the next-gen MacBooks will be made of liquidmetal, but no hard evidence has surfaced to support the speculation.

Two years ago Apple bought exclusive rights to use material from Liquidmetal Technologies in its products, but we have yet to see a liquidmetal iPhone. The only liquidmetal material to be incorporated was the pin used for ejecting the iPhone 3G SIM card. Will 2012 be the year Apple’s product line goes liquidmetal? Sadly, the odds don’t look good.

Liquidmetal co-inventor Atakan Peker has spoken out on the possibility of Apple introducing a liquidmetal MacBook. He expects Apple to introduce the technology in a “breakthrough product.” But the company will need to spend between 300 and 500 million dollars over a period of three to five years maturing and perfecting liquidmetal before it’s ready to be mass distributed. From an interview with Business Insider:

I’ve heard rumors that future MacBooks from Apple could use Liquidmetal casing, what would that be like? Is it likely to happen?

Given the size of MacBook and scale of Apple products, 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.

Peker goes on to say that “I expect Apple to use this technology in a breakthrough product. Such product will likely bring an innovative user interface and industrial design together, and will also be very difficult to copy or duplicate with other material technologies.”

Liquidmetal is a metallic-colored alloy that’s resistant to scratches and corrosion. It’s very strong and lightweight compared to other metals, and it can be precisely cast into complex shapes on an assembly line. The original iPhone featured an aluminum back while the last two iPhone models are encased in a stainless steel frame. The MacBook Pro and MacBook Air sport an aluminum housing that was debuted by Apple in 2008.

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  • AnthonyOMeally

    Thanks a lot rumor mill!

    Thanks for nothing!!!!
  • ApplePr0n

    Aww i was hoping this one could have been somewhat true….

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    Am I the only one who’s actually relieved now, or did everybody miss the part that states “Liquidmetal is metallic”? I think that look is ugly on the iPod, the last thing I want is for it to completely surround my MacBook and iPhone!!!

  • drblank

    What i heard is that they are going to use 3D printers with other materials that they got from some extraterrestrial beings from another galaxy far, far away.  The process is where they pick and choose all of the different parameters and then press PRINT and it prints out the product by the millions, packaging, literature all shrink wrapped and all they have to do is pay someone to put them in boxes in a truck and ship it.   The Foxconn assembly process isn’t needed anymore, so they can print these up in the secret labs that are hidden 1/4 mile underneath Infinite Loop.

  • John Schoettler

    Several years for a liquidmetal Macbook but possibly less than 6 months for a liquidmetal iphone?

  • drblank

    Actually, they are going to use particle beam lasers and photon charged nanomaterials to make their cases.  Come on, I thought everyone knew that.  Liquid Metal?  No, it all going to be done with lasers.  Jeez.  Aren’t you guys up to date on the latest technology?  

  • drblank

    The cases won’t break, they’ll just bounce.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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