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  • Apple Gets Exclusive License for "Liquidmetal" Alloy


    Apple has obtained a license for exclusive use of a new strong, flexible alloy for use in its products, according to a story in the Baltimore Post picked up by AppleInsider. The alloy, which is apparently called "Liquidmetal," supposedly has more than twice the strength of titanium, but cools quickly and can be easily molded like plastic. A filing with by the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Apple's license gives them exclusive access to Liquidmetal's intellectual property in order to develop products "in the field of consumer electronic products," which means no other electronics manufacturer will be able to use the alloy.

    The company compares its invention of what are called "amorphous alloys" to the introduction of steel in the 1800s and plastic in the 1900s. Based on research done on the Space Shuttle, Liquidmetal scientists developed an exotic mixture of different metals that cooled rapidly to form a super-durable glass called Vitreloy. This material is so strong that a one inch wide bar can lift 300,000 pounds, while to a titanium bar the same size that can only lift 175,000 pounds. However, Vitreloy still cracked like glass, so in 2000, the team developed Liquidmetal, which was just as strong but much tougher, with over three times the flexibility of crystalline metallic alloys. The company is marketing it to sports equipment manufacturers and also to the US Department of Defense, which is working on developing Liquidmetal for defensive armor and also for a new armor-piercing weapon that would replace depleted uranium.

    Apple has so far not responded to any request for comment, and there's no way of knowing what use they may have for this exotic metal. Liquidmetal's website highlights its invention's usefulness for making cases that are thinner and lighter, while being resistant to scratches and rust. It's possible that the alloy may be used for future unibody laptop enclosures, which are now carved out of a single block of aluminum. Liquidmetal, on the other hand can be molded into almost any shape, which would simplify the process and allow for more creative case designs.

    Source: AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Gets Exclusive License for "Liquidmetal" Alloy started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 63 Comments
    1. dougchapin's Avatar
      dougchapin -
      I still want my transparent aluminum.
    1. BeachLivin88's Avatar
      BeachLivin88 -
      What if they made the new MacBooks out of this. Instead of having keys on your keyboard, you have a smooth surface with the invisible buttons (they just patented these not long ago) that change according to what application you have open. Wow, I need to calm myself down... that would be incredible.
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      Apple hyped up the "revolutionary" antenna design, then there SUPER storn scrach resistent iPhone 4 glass and now this? This is all just fancy talk as usual!
    1. Shishir G's Avatar
      Shishir G -
      Quote Originally Posted by BeachLivin88 View Post
      What if they made the new MacBooks out of this. Instead of having keys on your keyboard, you have a smooth surface with the invisible buttons (they just patented these not long ago) that change according to what application you have open. Wow, I need to calm myself down... that would be incredible.
      Sir, if that happened i would jizz my pants.


      This is awesome!%$^$%&
      WHAT IF THEIR MAKING ONE OF THOSE PLAY DOUGH THINGS!!!!!
      the iDough is it a solid? is it a liquid? NO its both. from Apple!

      Their probably gonna make all of their products out of these then if a 800 lbs. boulder is coming our way we can stop it using our iPads, or iPhones or iPods!!$^#^#W OMG
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      Nice, this thing will be sweet hopefully, I don't think they will implement this into iPhone 5 though, cuz didn't they already start making iPhone 5 and are almost done? Maybe iPhone 6, but hey I can be wrong.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      impressive indeed
    1. PuppyPR's Avatar
      PuppyPR -
      So, Skynet will be located at Cupertino, nice...
    1. cypherpunk's Avatar
      cypherpunk -
      Someone needs to make it illegal for manufacturers to sell exclusive rights to anything. It doesn't help the market, in fact it only holds it back.

      The market should be driven by those willing to invest their money in products and ideas, not those who "invest" money in shutting out any potential competitors and stifling the market.
      If a company is willing to pay the rightsowner an acceptable price for the rights to use something, another client company should NOT be able to step in and buy the "right" to deny them that.
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      Quote Originally Posted by PuppyPR View Post
      So, Skynet will be located at Cupertino, nice...
      I don't know all the details of the terminator saga... But isn't Skynet HQ in Cupertino, or at least the silicon valley.

      They need to make a new Terminator movie, adding Droids (or Androids) to the story! iTerminators vs Droids fighting for domination after humanity has been destroyed!

      Is there any mention of how much this stuff costs to produce? Is it cheap enough at the moment for apple to be able to use this in their products, or next gen products?
    1. gmpv's Avatar
      gmpv -
      What about making new antenna just in case any issue. they can melt it down an redising a new one )^o^(
    1. santacruzlocal's Avatar
      santacruzlocal -
      Here goes the world ... Literally !!!
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      Wow, just one more thing that isn't' needed that will drive the cost of their already outrageously expensive items.
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      Most of us thought it would be either Microsoft or Google who morphed into SKYNET within the next twenty years, but clearly Apple is the culprit. Look here, they are already designing the T1000. Quick, somebody hide Robert Patrick in a closet!
    1. Eagleye's Avatar
      Eagleye -
      This sounds pretty sweet. Wonder how much that license cost them...
    1. M4tt Dam0n's Avatar
      M4tt Dam0n -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eagleye View Post
      This sounds pretty sweet. Wonder how much that license cost them...
      Over 9000 millions.
    1. sami4021's Avatar
      sami4021 -
      Iphone 5
    1. SnowLeo's Avatar
      SnowLeo -
      so that verizon iphone is rumored to have a "metal" back rite? I wonder how much reception liquidmetal blocks lol.

      When I hear Steve say that the iphone or macbook pro is made out of liquidmetal it makes me think its mercury and itll be poisonous. But i guess theres nothing more "magical" than liquid metal. I remember the days when you were actually able to play with mercury before they learned that its poisonous just like how I used to use a non jailbroken iphone until I learnes apples closed world was poisoning the potential of the device. Apple has turned from red delicious to poisonous apple (like in snow white lol)

      i bet this is just gonna turn out like those 4 specific patents about solar panels under the iphone screen. would be the coolest thing ever but since apple filed the patent first and has exclusivity to the ip theyre just gonna never use it or let anyone else use it so they can continue to release products
      once a year that are barely better than the last and get away with it
    1. Aliquippakid's Avatar
      Aliquippakid -
      Sounds amazing. But so did the glass they built iPhone four out of. Ya know the chemcally hardened helicopter glass. I think a three or four foot drop conquered it right? We will see how it goes.
    1. HCWHunter's Avatar
      HCWHunter -
      Quote Originally Posted by cypherpunk View Post
      Someone needs to make it illegal for manufacturers to sell exclusive rights to anything. It doesn't help the market, in fact it only holds it back.

      The market should be driven by those willing to invest their money in products and ideas, not those who "invest" money in shutting out any potential competitors and stifling the market.
      If a company is willing to pay the rights owner an acceptable price for the rights to use something, another client company should NOT be able to step in and buy the "right" to deny them that.
      So you're basically saying that Apple should spend R&D $$ developing some new product or a better way/material of making a product and then their competitors should just be able to copy the product or materials and undercut their prices?

      Exclusive rights agreements have their place in competition and can promote innovation, provided they are for a reasonable length of time.

      HW
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      They'll probably just use this to make their cases thinner. It probably won't have much impact on Apple's designs, which all tent to evolve towards some form of block, trapezoid, or extruded square (all boring).

      But that it can be molded is pretty neat, and should cut down on production costs by decreasing the amount of time spent on milling out a block of aluminum.

      Very cool stuff!