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Liquidmetal Co-Inventor: Apple Will Need a Few More Years to Use Liquidmetal in a Breakthrough Product

We’ve talked a lot about the possibility of Apple using the new technology known as “liquidmetal” in their upcoming iPhone iterations, but word today from one of the inventors of the substance is that we are at least a couple of years and hundreds of millions of dollars away from that happening, citing a lack of a suitable manufacturing infrastructure.  One thing we do have to look forward to, though, is that once it is finally available on a larger scale, we can expect Liquidmetal to be a part of a “breakthrough product” that Apple has designed.

In an interview with Business Insider, Atakan Peker, the aforementioned co-inventor, stated the following:

This is very exciting. Therefore, I expect Apple to use this technology in a breakthrough product. Such product will likely bring an innovative user interface and industrial design together, and will also be very difficult to copy or duplicate with other material technologies.

He went on to say that whatever the “breakthrough product” would be, it would more than likely be very difficult for any other company to copy or duplicate, since Apple has the exclusive consumer electronics rights to Liquidmetal. Regardless, we’re going to have to wait awhile until we even see it. Peker went on to say:

I would not say Liquidmetal was perfected. This is a technology that has yet to be matured and perfected both in manufacturing process and application development. I should note that this is a completely new and different metal technology. Therefore, there is no suitable manufacturing infrastructure yet to take full advantage of this alloy technology.

For example, I estimate that Apple will likely spend on the order of $300 million to $500 million — and three to five years — to mature the technology before it can used in large scale.

So there you have it, folks. While Apple may very well implement Liquidmetal in some aspect, such as smaller parts and tools, it will be awhile before we see it broadly used in any kind product. Who knows what we’ll see when it comes to fruition, but I can only imagine that it will be awesome. While it needs to be said that Peker doesn’t have a direct pipeline to Apple’s designers and their future plans, he has, at the very least, a broad understanding of the necessary steps needed to take in order to ship such a product on a large scale.

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