A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission confirms Apple’s ongoing plans to use Liquidmetal in upcoming products. The extension would allow the Cupertino giant to employ the amorphous metal alloys until 2014.
The “Entry Into a Material Definitive Agreement”
reveals that, “On June 15, 2012, Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc. [...] and Apple Inc. [...] entered into an amendment [...] to the Master Transaction Agreement that they previously entered into on August 5, 2010.”
“Under the MTA, the Company was originally obligated to contribute to Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, a special purpose subsidiary of the Company, all intellectual property acquired or developed by the Company through February 5, 2012, and all intellectual property held by Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC is exclusively licensed on a perpetual basis to Apple for the field of use of consumer electronic products under the MTA.”
The document specifically states that, “Under the Amendment, the parties agreed to amend the MTA to extend the February 5, 2012 date to February 5, 2014.”
According to the filing, a complete description of the Amendment will be filed with Apple’s next Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
Liquidmetal is a wonder material that combines key characteristics from glass, plastics, and lightweight metals, which results in amorphous alloys that can cast into complicated parts witgh high strength-to-weight ratio, zero corrosion susceptibility, and a sleek outer crust.
To this date, Apple used Liquidmetal only in small parts that shipped with the iPhone (the SIM ejector tool
The iPhone maker reportedly plans to take things to the next level by creating enclosures for its phones, tablets and, perhaps, even its line of notebooks. Currently, the Cupertino giant still uses machining
to carve cases from anodized aluminum.
A co-inventor of Liquidmetal was recently quoted
as saying that the technologies used to manipulate the material are still years away from yielding large components, though his statement was received with skepticism.