As Apple's media event approaches, we've been noting a few last-minute rumors that deserve special mention.
First, Liquidmetal Technologies late yesterday announced that it had begun "shipping commercial parts to several of its customers world-wide". While the customers are unnamed, shipments are said to have begun in December and will be continuing in the months ahead.
Apple acquired the rights to Liquidmetal's technology related to amorphous metal alloys for use in all consumer electronics applications back in 2010, while Liquidmetal has retained its rights in all other fields of use. While Liquidmetal has not named Apple as one of its customers for which it is shipping parts, the timing of the announcement is certainly raising some eyebrows.
Apple reportedly tested Liquidmetal's alloys in the SIM removal tool included with the iPhone 3G, but there has not yet been any evidence of it included in other Apple products.
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Apple is widely expected to introduce 4G LTE capabilities on at least some of its cellular-capable iPad 3 models, bringing significantly faster data speeds in areas where the technology has been rolled out by carriers.