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jlister
Apr 20, 2012

What are the benefits of using liquid metal to build mobile devices?

A lot of rumors about the upcoming iPhone 5 being constructed of liquid metal have been bouncing around this week. Like most people probably did, I immediately pictured the terminator from Terminator II repairing itself. That WOULD be a cool iPhone! I would also like a car made of it.  Sadly, I know hat is not reality, but what advantages does liquid metal actually bring to devices like the iPhone?

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flipm0de
04/28/2012

The 'liquid metal' that is rumored to be used in the iphone casing is probably not the same metal they use in Terminator robots. Liquid metal actually is a marketing name for various metal alloys with certain unique properties. These properties are beneficial in production processes, as liquid metal behaves much like plastics when it is heated. Thus it allows for more complex (perhaps curved or twisted) shapes. Also, it is highly durable, scratch resistant, and more cost efficient than aluminum or titanium. It also has a better strength-to-weight ratio. If Apple is able to use liquid metal this in the casing of the iPhone 5, it could very well be itthey will also use it in future macbooks.

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dthomas
04/23/2012

In addition to looking cool and having a good strength to weight ration, the name sounds awesome.  I can just see the ads now:  "The new liquid metal iPhone 5: welcome to the future."  I'm not sure what all the actual advantages really are, but from a marketing standpoint there certainly is a benefit to having a high end product made out of a futuristic sounding material that has not yet been seen a lot of mainstream consumer use.  Vertu has made a few phones that was partially constructed from liquid metal, but I've never even seen a Vertu phone.  It allows Apple to differentiate itself from other manufacturers (ignoring Vertu).  One thing I really love about Apple is that they are the current masters of industrial design, and I am really looking forward to seeing how the aesthetic design of the next iPhone evolves and how they put this new material to use.       

jimlynch
04/20/2012
I suspect that it may allow the iPhone to be thinner and lighter than previous versions. It may also help make it more resistant to damage through dropping, etc. We'll have to wait and see though, there are usually tons of rumors about Apple products and not all of them turn out to be true.

We'll know soon enough. I'm looking forward to it though as I want to upgrade my iPhone. So I sure do hope the rumors are true.
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