Skip to main content

Apple extends exclusive deal with Liquidmetal

Apple and Liquidmetal have signed a deal that extends the two firms' licensing agreement by another two years.

The deal, first reported by AppleInsider and noted in recent SEC filings, means that Apple maintains the exclusive rights to any technology created or acquired by Liquidmetal until at least 5 February, 2014.

Apple first licensed Liquidmetal intellectual property in 2010 in order to apply it to future products, like unibody MacBooks. That deal expired this year, but now continues for another two years.

According to Liquidmetal, its material combines the properties of plastics with the ultra-rigidity of metals.

Liquidmetal made headlines earlier this year when it announced that it was shipping commercial parts to worldwide partners on the same day that Apple unveiled its new iPad. That prompted speculation that the updated tablet might be built out of the new material, but it turns out the device was crafted from the same materials as previous generations.

The next month, meanwhlie, a report from Korea said that Apple would swap out the glass back on its next iPhone for Liquidmetal's super-tough alloy. Last month, meanwhile, one of the Caltech researchers who invented Liquidmetal speculated that Apple could spend upwards of half a billion dollars over the next few years to develop Liquidmetal for use in device casings and computer enclosures.

The next iPhone has yet to make its debut, but is largely expected to be released in the fall around the same time as iOS 6. Will it include Liquidmetal? Stay tuned.