Apple appears one step closer to rolling out Terminator-like iPhone

A patent issued this week may signal that Apple is getting closer to using a super-strong alloy to build its iPhone and other devices.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent for "bulk amorphous alloy sheet forming processes" to Crucible Intellectual Property. That company is a subsidiary of Liquidmetal Technologies, which teamed up with Apple a few years back to develop its trademarked Liquidmetal alloy material for the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant's technologies.

Liquidmetal, of course, draws comparisons to the material used, thanks to computer effects, for the main bad guy of 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."

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So what might Apple want with the material? Well, Liquidmetal is extremely tough. It resists scratching and denting as well as bending and shattering. It also doesn't hurt that it has a slick metallic glass look to it.

The main problem with the material is that producing it in mass quantities is very tough as traditional methods used for other metals don't work.

But Apple and Crucible Intellectual Property seem to have a found way, which is outlined in the patent. The process could be used to make Liquidmetal in bulk for a variety of electronic devices, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, a TV monitor, a watch and even a clock (iClock anyone?).

While some believe the next iPhone could be made using Liquidmetal, it may be a while before Apple starts rolling out the technology, considering its next smartphone may be only a few months away.

Either way, it's clear Apple has not lost interest in one day building a Terminator-like iPhone.


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