Back in 2012 we had heard the rumors that Apple was planning on making an iPhone out of the liquidmetal alloy, which was backed up by the inventor of liquidmetal who claims that such a feat could happen in a few years’ time. While it remains to be seen as to whether such an iPhone would be realized, new patents have emerged that shows Apple’s interest in the alloy. These patents suggest how liquidmetal could be used to create various product parts through the process of injection molding and 3D printing (via Patently Apple).
The 3D printing aspect is interesting as it has been suggested in the patent that such a method would be quicker and less expensive compared to more traditional methods, such as the machining of parts, and could be used to quickly create prototypes and to help visualize what the end product could be like. The patent has been described as having use in a number of Apple products, such as iOS devices, computer monitors, remote controls, laptops, and devices such as a “watch or clock”, which we can only imagine will fuel iWatch rumors and speculation.
Apple has attempted to incorporate liquidmetal in small amounts in its products, such as the SIM ejector tool that came with the iPhone 3GS, but whether or not we will see liquidmetal used on a larger scale is anyone’s guess.