Well, this is interesting timing. LiquidMetal — the space-age alloy that Apple already uses for the iPhone’s SIM ejection tool and which they licensed for future products — has just announced they are shipping commercial parts to several unnamed customers. Can anyone say LiquidMetal iPad 3?
Apple’s long been rumored to use LiquidMetal in future product designs, and one possibility was a lighter, stronger iPad enclosure. The timing of today’s announcement — in which LiquidMetal reveals they started to deliver parts to customers in December, which is when iPad 3 production would have started ramping up — may be coincidental, but it is certainly telling.
“We are very excited about the use of amorphous metal alloy technology to deliver stronger, lighter and more corrosion resistant pats to our customers in varying industries globally,” Liquidmetal President and CEO Tom Steipp said. “These initial shipments represent a significant milestone in our efforts to provide a new class of materials for our customers to consider when designing complex parts.”
Whether the iPad 3 will contain LiquidMetal (and if so, how much) remains to be seen, but Apple has an exclusive right to use LiquidMetal in consumer electronics, so my guess is, this announcement isn’t coincidental. It’s embargoed.