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back to article Metallic Glass iPhone 5 to battle pottery Samsung Galaxy S3

The next iPhone will be cased in "Liquidmetal" says a Korean news outlet quoting "industry sources". The talkative Korean rumour-mongers have also repeated predictions that Samsung's upcoming S3, their next Galaxy smartphone, will be made of high-tech ceramics. Liquidmetal is the trade name for metal alloy with the structure of …

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Compare and Contrast

$11m for perpetual rights to a brilliant piece of metalurgy IP with applications across a broad range of products ...

versus

$1b for a pointless app that lets people share their photographic ineptitude.

Mad I tell, completely mad ...

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Re: Compare and Contrast

They only paid for a licence to use it in consumer electronics, not any application. Thus the developers get a cash injection to spend on further research, seems like a reasonable deal to me.

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My thoughts exactly- if this wonder material is as brilliant as we are led to believe, $11 seems awfully cheap for an economic way to process it.

Do any Reggies here have the 3G tool? And if so, have you performed some destructive testing on it, possibly whilst bored or drunk? Any observations? : D

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According to the manufacturer,

liquidmetal has 2-3 times the strength of titanium or stainless steel. Fairly impressive, but not in a league of its own. It surely has a nice name and should give the owner a nice SciFi-inspired feelgood factor. Marketing objective fulfilled!

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"Do any Reggies here have the 3G tool? And if so, have you performed some destructive testing on it, possibly whilst bored or drunk? Any observations? : D"

I have one on my desk, I wasn't aware of its construction method but have always been intrigued by it. Although it's just a little bit of metal I couldn't find any injection seam or evidence of cutting so I was baffled as to how it was made without lots of effort being put into finishing.

As for it's properties, it's pretty rigid and resistant to flexing or mild bending. I haven't gone the whole destructive testing route yet because it seems wrong somehow to damage a nice shiny things, I'll wait until I've had more to drink.

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Obligatory star trek,...

No doubt Scotty will be along soon with some transparent Aluminum (sic)

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Thumb Up

Re: Obligatory star trek,...

If he can just stop talking into the mouse and looking like a complete tool, then we're sorted...

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Boffin

Re: Obligatory star trek,...

Aluminium oxynitride, Aluminium oxide(Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald) are somewhat transparent

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obligatory star trek,...

My old Seiko watch had a Saphlex glass (a layer of saphire on a hard glass).

It was about the only part of that watch that didn't break, scratch or fail completely in some way in the 4.5 years I managed to keep it going.

I wish my current Citizen watch had the same type to stop the scratches.

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Joke

Re: Obligatory star trek,...

I dreamt of a watch with Sapphic glass, but it proved to be too distracting...

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I'm impressed

That's a seriously short turnaround time to commercialise a discovery. If this is as strong as predicted I think Apple has actually pulled a blinder here..

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Less impressive in reality

Google "Vertu Ascent Liquidmetal" and look at the dates (2004). This was already a production-ready product, and even in mobile phones, long before Apple were sold a license to use it.

And "licence" is the key word, here -- they get to be the only CE company using the material; they didn't get access to the IP behind its manufacture.

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Re: I'm impressed

ist gen Sandisk Sansa case back too. 2005/6 ish

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Re: I'm impressed

"ist gen Sandisk Sansa case back too. 2005/6 ish"

Whoa - I got me one of those! And I still prefer it to an iPod.

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Anonymous Coward

With a metal case, the antenna system would have redesigned.

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Anonymous Coward

Didn't

Apple have something of an issue with antennae before?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Didn't

No that was user error

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iphone liquidmetal

But can it form knives, and stabbing weapons?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iphone liquidmetal

and simple machines.

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Re: iphone liquidmetal

The iPhone, or the metal?

In any case if you are thinking "metal detectors", forget it: it's still metal, it'll still earn you an intimate moment with sweaty TSA agents.

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Terminator

Re: iphone liquidmetal

@Pierre: Whoooooosh!

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Joke

Re: iphone liquidmetal

I'm sorry I only watch good movies and what the hell are you talking about?

(D'Oh)

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Happy

Re: iphone liquidmetal

Or machines for the simple?

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Terminator

Re: iphone liquidmetal

"But can it form knives, and stabbing weapons?"

And curvy blondes?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iphone liquidmetal

'Or machines for the simple?'

Well it's used in an iPhone soooo...

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Headmaster

Glass-that-acts-like-metal?

Isn't liquidmetal exactly the opposite: metal that behaves somewhat like glass? As in, non-cristalline (amorphous) metal?

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Re: Glass-that-acts-like-metal?

Yes. And the screen cannot be made out of it because it isn't transparent. I tell you, some journo's seem to just guess at what they are reporting.

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What does it matter what its made of

People go on about their wonderful iPhone and it's glass surfaces. So what's the first thing they do? Shove it in some ugly case. The only reason it's clad in exotic materials is to jack up the price not for any reasons of utility.

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Re: What does it matter what its made of

Omega's been using it for a while on its Planet Ocean range. If the advert is anything to go by, the iphone will retain its striking appearance indefinitely and you'll need an 8000 Watt laser ray to engrave your name on the back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZcsWVqLC5I

But it also suggests the next iphone ads will be even worse than the last ones, and note that Omega hiked its prices a heck of a lot in the last few years!

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Re: What does it matter what its made of

Hahaha, I know. They buy a slim phone and then clad it in gaudy plastic. Almost every iPhone I see is like this.

I've never used a case for my phones. Then again, I'm pretty sure if I used a case on my Sony Ericsson P990, it would have made a suspicious bulge in my pocket, more than it already did. Great phone at the time though.

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WTF?

Re: What does it matter what its made of

"....you'll need an 8000 Watt laser ray to engrave your name on the back."

Wow, that's dangerous. The humungous shark the thing's mounted on is almost certainly going to take your arm off while you're holding an iPhone in front of its nose....

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Re: What does it matter what its made of

"Hahaha, I know. They buy a slim phone and then clad it in gaudy plastic. Almost every iPhone I see is like this."

That too. Transforming a slim phone into a brick.

The trick to keeping a phone looking good without a cover is to put it into your pocket facing your leg. And put all your keys, coins and other scratchy things into another pocket. I have an HTC Desire which is over 2 years old now and aside from a very slight scratch has managed to survive all that time in such a way. I don't even think the screen is made of glass.

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Thumb Up

Re: What does it matter what its made of

Absolutely.

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Joke

Re: What does it matter what its made of

@TeeCee

Due to circumstances out of our control, we are sorry to note that the Shark (previously used for our extremely popular high power Laser "engraver" mounts) is now on the protected wildlife list, and won't be available for delivery in the near future. Can we interest you instead in an extremely ill tempered Sea Bass(r) which to mount the laser on? Price and warranty are otherwise unchanged. As an additional service, for an extra $1 Million, we'll pre-mount the laser on your ill tempered Sea Bass(r).

Sincerely

#2

Sales and Marketing Director

Evil Mfg Inc.

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Haven't we been here before?..

Of course there is always the possibility that when released the iPhone 5 will look exactly like the 4S with almost exactly the same specs...

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Pint

But... can you drop it from 3 feet an the screen stays intact?

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Joke

@ Mr_Pitiful

> can you drop it from 3 feet an the screen stays intact?

I believe a LiquidMetal screen would allow for that. Unfortunately, it would also be opaque. After the sealed battery, the opaque screen. Makes sense!

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probably

did that with my 4s a couple of weeks ago, was at a club, getting a bit active, phone flew out of (buttoned) external breast pocket, still in mint condition. (did replace the £1.50 for 3 screen protector(which is not noticeable in normal operation))

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This is iApple all over, hype the 'magical' design. Like now all their phans go on about how "their" notebooks are made of Nasa Space aluminium rather than 'creaky plastic'. Because before this line of laptops Apple never used plastic... iLOL

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Anonymous Coward

So let me get this straight...

I'm not allowed to like feature XYZ of a product if the company that makes it ever made a product without feature XYZ? Uhh...

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I'm not seeing anywhere that liquidmetal can be transparent, so suggestions that the display would be made from it are apparently all from people that keyed on the word 'glass' without doing any actual reading.

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Pint

Plenty of this material in your house right now...

The little anti-shoplifting tags (typically about 1 x 3 cm, black) stuck inside your DVD cases. The foil layers are reportedly made of amorphous metal. Be careful, they're sharp.

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er...

isnt this the exact same rumour that was flying around for the last 2 versions of iphone?

i was interested in it before from a materials standpoint only to discover that the phone was standard kit and only the lil pokey thing was liquid metal - next will be the rumour that the entire samsung galaxy s3 will be entirely made of gorrilla glass, oh wait they said that before too

those korean guys have some imagination.

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g e
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11 Million

Sounds fecking cheap (or a ripoff) for a worldwide exclusive deal for consumer electronics.

Was someone a bit starstruck by the Apple name during that deal ?

Cue angry shareholders, etc.

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Re: 11 Million

Nah.

It just means that the next someone who wants to use it will have, to buy the lads out of the apple agreement. Have to keep the lawyers busy you know, otherwise they will start working on the rest of us.

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Anonymous Coward

Does that mean..

...that all this swanky space age liquid metal will fix the ongoing javascript bug in Safari and stop it crashing when looking at real web sites? No? Didn't think so.

I guess it'll be better after throwing it at the wall in frustration though..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Does that mean..

Safari on my phone rarely crashes for me and I feel like I look at a lot of "real" web sites but I guess they are all fake. Pray tell, what is a "real" web site so I can go to it and confirm this crash?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Does that mean..

Oh my, it seems I may have upset a fanboy.

There are a few things you can do to find out more info about this, copy and paste(I know we never could, but nowadays Apple let us...yay!) this: 'iOS safari javascript crash' in to google and then read. Or, you can go and do what I did and went in to a shiny high street store and asked a 'genius' all about it. His response, and I'll quote him verbatim: "Yes, we've known about this bug for ages but apparently they can't fix it. Download Opera on your device and use that. It just works." I gave him 10 out of 10 for getting the slogan in even though he was talking about a product not made by Apple.

For the record, I did download Opera and guess what...it just worked. Off you go then, have a look at some "real" websites (but I'd use Opera if I were you)...

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Trollface

Missed my opportunity to be a patent troll

Many years ago, a group I was part of made a prototype PDA out of modelling clay. We even took it to Apple as part of a competition they ran for Masters students in human-computer interaction. Looks like we should have patented it!

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