Apple retains exclusive rights to Liquidmetal alloy in consumer products

Liquidmetal

Apple and Liquidmetal Technologies have announced that the pair will be extending Apple's licensing agreement for the latter's metal alloy through February 2015. Apple had been a licensee of Liquidmetal Technologies since 2010, but thus far Liquidmetal's use inside Apple's products have been limited to the SIM ejector tool that's packaged inside the iPhone and iPad boxes.

The original licensing agreement was good from August 5, 2010 through June 15, 2012. Apple had amended that agreement to go through February 5, 2014 and now the company says that under the Second Amendment, "the parties agreed to amend the MTA and the First Amendment to extend the February 5, 2014 date to February 5, 2015."

Given that Apple has not done anything meaningful with its exclusive rights to use Liquidmetal alloy so far, the agreement is likely to extend Apple's exclusivity for this material and lock competitors out from using the substance in rival products.

Source: Macrumors

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Reader comments

Apple retains exclusive rights to Liquidmetal alloy in consumer products

24 Comments

Do Verizon iPhones not come with a sim ejector tool? Have never had one.

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No, if you have the box, you have the SIM ejector. Only if the place you bought your phone didn't give you the box would you not have it.

Not true. I have had a few iPhones, and not one ever came with an ejector tool. Always have used a paper clip.

Out of the 3 iPhone 5s' we bought 3 months ago, not one came with a sim ejector tool, and all 3 where in sealed iPhone boxes. So no, not everyone gets sim ejector tools.

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Well, I hope I'm not wrong about that, but in Canada I have bought every iPhone that has ever been on sale and each one has a SIM ejector tool in with the paperwork, inside the box. You have to go through those papers to find it though, it's not just sitting in the open.

It's also not always liquid metal either, but for me anyway, there has been a SIM ejector tool in every box.

About the only way you get the SIM ejector tool in the U.S. is to buy your phone unlocked from Apple. U.S. providers don't like to play nice.

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I want a Liquidmetal + synthetic sapphire "iPhone 6." This September.
But I'll settle for aluminum + synthetic sapphire.

I think this news could much more easily be spun as evidence that Apple is NOT going to be doing anything cool with LiquidMetal, rather than the other way around. They only extended the agreement for less than one year this time.

Unless the products they announce this very fall (within months, like), have LiquidMetal in them, it seems that they aren't going to be using it at all.

A more hopeful spin would be that in working with LiquidMetal in a trickle this year, Apple has discovered opportunities to use it in more significant ways next year, and a one-year exclusive license will give them a cost-effective head start vs competitors. I kind of doubt it too, but some people may view the cup as more half-full than either of us do :)

Only the original iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS came with a SIM removal tool. On top of that only some of them were made of liquid metal.

Not true, both my 4's came with liquid metal tools, and a 4S as well.

Of course, every time I needed those, they were safely stored at home, far from where I was.

According to what I know here in the U.S. that is what "officially" happened. Even my own experince is similar. I've owned every iPhone except the 3G, 5 and 5c and have only received a sim tool with the original iPhone. Some countries obviously still got them and there are people here in the U.S. who also got them with later model iPhones.

It'd be nice if Apple would actually do something with the license. Unless I'm mistaken, I seem to recall reading somewhere that liquid metal doesn't suffer from the same signal degradation that aluminum does (I could be pulling that out of my ass though). It'd be cool to have a liquid metal iPhone. You'd think Apple would just LOVE to plaster that all over their marketing. Here's an interesting article from 2012 about it http://www.businessinsider.com/liquidmetal-inventor-atakan-peker-apple-w...

Apple has made use of the metal, what do you think the apple logo on the back of the new iPad is made from... I cannot believe this has not been talked about...

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My box of Iphone 4-8 GB( factory unlocked and purchased at full retail from apple.com) purchased from US had the sim tool and also 2 apple stickers.
All boxes purchased in India,also have the tool along with the sticker.
It is placed snugly inside the manual box.
I carry one with me in my wallet.