A new rumor, according to tech site BGR, says that the iPhone 5S could come with
“indestructible LiquidMetal Case.”
Boy Genius Report (BGR) says that the iPhone 5S SIM card trays are what give away the new, rugged casing for the next-generation iPhone:
“My prediction is that we are going to see a LiquidMetal case for the first time on an iPhone, and this is my reasoning behind it.
Years ago, Apple signed an exclusive licensing agreement with LiquidMetal to use its unique material that is two to three times harder than normal metals, yet can be injection molded into custom parts and shapes…BGR exclusively revealed various components from the upcoming iPhone 5S in a report back in May…there was something else I noticed about the SIM tray but couldn’t put my finger on. These trays were not cut of aluminum…they looked injection molded. But out of what?
…Not only is Apple interested in, and going to launch a LiquidMetal iPhone 5S in my opinion, but it is also exploring sapphire material to cover the company’s displays…We are going to see Apple launch a phone with the most ideal case material in the world, and potentially see the company introduce a sapphire crystal screen, which is also the most ideal material in the world.”
There are two rumors presented here, the first being the LiquidMetal casing that Jonathan Geller believes will grace the iPhone 5S. While it seems like a neat theory, I myself have not seen anything similar to LiquidMetal on the SIM card trays. All the images of the trays I have seen suggests that there may be new colors for the iPhone 5S, but LiquidMetal casing seems unlikely.
In fact, for most individuals, the difference between LiquidMetal and aluminum materials are negligible and hardly noticeable. This is a rumor that has not caught on with the iPhone 5S, although it is an eighteen-month-old rumor that was spread about the iPhone 5 some months before its release in September of last year.
Unfortunately, for Geller, we’d have to disagree with the prediction of a sapphire glass display as well. After all, Apple has decided to stick with Corning to manufacture its Gorilla Glass displays. An iPhone 5 owner myself, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve dropped my iPhone 5 and picked it up without a scratch or crack on the screen or aluminum back. Gorilla Glass 3 has been strong enough, but I’d like to see a Gorilla Glass 4 on the iPhone 5S display. Even if the next-generation iPhone 5S sticks with Gorilla Glass 3, the material is nothing to scoff at.
Sapphire glass displays, however, are another material entirely. Although the iPhone 5 back camera is protected by a sapphire glass cover, and sapphire glass is considered to be tougher than Gorilla Glass, it is also more fragile than Gorilla Glass when used in considerably large amounts. According to a report sent out by MacRumors a few weeks ago, a Vertu employee (the company known for its LiquidMetal-cased phones) said that Apple toyed with the idea, then abandoned it:
“In an interview with German news site Tages-Anzeiger, Vertu COO Perry Oosting revealed that Apple investigated the possibility of a sapphire display, recruiting an unspecified number of Vertu employees to work on the project. Vertu is a British company that produces luxury cell phones, some with sapphire displays, and at least two former Vertu employees appear to have joined Apple in the last year.
According to Oosting, Apple ultimately shelved the sapphire project because the material is unsuitable for production in the numbers that Apple requires at the current point in time.”
While Geller and BGR are certainly at liberty to dream, I think both LiquidMetal casing and sapphire displays (particularly this last rumor) should be dismissed entirely. It seems as if Apple contemplated the idea, but it has been officially abandoned as of last month. Since Apple has started iPhone 5S production this month, I think the Gorilla Glass 3 or 4 displays have been settled upon for some weeks now.
If sapphire glass is coming to the iPhone, a number of leaks and photos will tell us so. Readers, remember that if a rumor sounds far-fetched, it probably is.