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Apple iPhone 6 unlikely to boast new LiquidMetal frame but iWatch could benefit

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week granted Apple a patent which relates to the use of LiquidMetal to secure an iPhone's screen.

To date, the substance has been used to build medical tools, sports equipment, and SIM card ejectors, but never in the way that Apple laid out in its original submission.

Read more: 3D printer creates liquid metal at room temperature

The patent application describes a method for "integrally trapping a glass insert in a metal bezel".

Current versions of the iPhone feature a system in which the display glass is attached to a shock-absorbing plastic or rubberised gasket, which pairs it with a metal bezel.

If the freshly-granted patent is put to practical use, future Apple devices could pack screens that instead attach to bezels using injected LiquidMetal, which can dry to form a solid material.

It is unlikely that LiquidMetal will play a part in the construction of the iPhone 6, which we expect to make an appearance in September, but it's certainly possible that it will debut on next year's range of devices - which could include the fabled iWatch.

Read more: Apple iPhone 6 design, features and release rumours

What we do expect to see on the next iteration of the iPhone is a sapphire screen, which should be more hard-wearing than the glass currently in use. For more iPhone 6 speculation, check out our dedicated rumour blog (the link above).

The LiquidMetal patent was filed by Apple on 11 July 2008.