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iPhone 3G SIM Tool Made Of Liquidmetal; Future iPhones Could Be Also Made From Liquidmetal

August 17th, 2010 08:12 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Liquidmetal iPhone SIM eject tool

We had reported yesterday that the next generation iPhone could come with an antenna system made of liquidmetal, which according to experts could drastically improve the signal reception on the iPhone. 

Folks at CultOfMac have pointed out that Apple has already started using liquidmetal for one small component of the iPhone 3G – the SIM eject tool to probably test its capabilities.

Apple is reported to have signed an exclusive agreement with LiquidMetal Technologies to bring their proprietary IP to Apple's consumer electronics products.

As we had reported yesterday:

LiquidMetal is a series of exotic alloy components developed by researchers at CalTech and is often referred to as "bulk metallic glass". This is due to its atomic structure that makes it glass-like while offering a super-strong yet extremely flexible material that is resistant to corrosion and is scratch-proof as well.

Dr. Atakan Peker, one of the co-inventors of the alloying component had recognized the metal when he opened his iPhone 3G.

“That’s my metal,” he said. “I recognized it immediately. Take it from an expert, that’s Liquidmetal.”

Peker points out that the component was a good test of liquidmetal’s unique properties:

“It is practically unbendable by hand unless you want to hurt or cut your fingers,

Liquidmetal iPhone SIM eject tool

According to CultOfMac, Apple sourced the SIM eject tool made of liquidmetal from Liquidmetal Technologies as a test of the company's manufacturing capabilities.

It also looks like Apple source the component from LiquidMetal Technologies for a brief period:

It’s not clear how long Apple sourced Liquidmetal for SIM ejector pins. European models of the iPhone 3G have ordinary steel pins, and maybe also those shipped to Asia, Peker said. ”They’re not Liquidmetal,” he said. “They bend like paperclips.”

Meanwhile, another former top researcher at Liquidmetal Technologies claims that Apple might build the next iPhone out of liquidmetal.

"I think they’re going to make the iPhone out of it," said Dr. Jan Schroers, the former director of research at Liquidmetal Technologies, the first company to commercially develop the space-age technology. "It's quite obvious from what Liquidmetal has done in the past and what the technology is capable of."

According to Schroers, Apple could create very intricate cases by blow-molding melted alloy like glass.

It will be interesting to see if future iPhones are made of liquidmetal.

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

[via CultOfMac]

Source: iPhone 3G SIM Tool Made Of Liquidmetal; Future iPhones Could Be Also Made From Liquidmetal

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