Korean site ETNews.com claims that Apple is planning to use new "liquid metal" alloys in the iPhone 5 to yield a thinner and lighter device that is resistant to impact damage. Apple acquired the rights to Liquidmetal Technologies' "amorphous metal alloys" in August 2010 and soon after was spotted hiring engineers to work on the materials, but little concrete news on Liquidmetal's contributions to Apple has appeared since that time.
According to industry sources, the next flagship phones of [Apple and Samsung] are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S3 and liquid metal for iPhone5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts. The new phase of the rivalry is because neither one of them can get a decisive edge over the other solely with its OS and AP specifications, features or design.
The report also claims that the iPhone 5 will debut in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), returning to the mid-year launch schedule seen up until last year's launch of the iPhone 4S in October. Most observers expect, however, that the iPhone 5 will not launch until the later September-October timeframe this year as well.
ETNews does not have a lengthy track record regarding Apple rumors, although the site did incorrectly claim last year that the iPhone would launch in late June with a special event several weeks after WWDC. The site appears to have been more accurate with its January claim that Sharp had been cut out of the supply chain for the display in the new iPad. Sharp did experience difficulties meeting Apple's quality control standards for the display production, and is only now ramping up production to help meet demand.
Based on the source's unreliable track record, the preponderance of expectations pointing to a release later in the year, and a lack of corroborating claims regarding Apple's plans for Liquidmetal's alloys, we believe that this rumor is not particularly reliable. Consequently, we are posting this claim to our blog primarily for reader interest and discussion.