After a period of unnerving quietness, the Apple rumor mill is back up and running at full capacity producing two somewhat credible rumors over the last 24 hours. The next iPhone will not be announced until October if the latest rumors are believed. A separate rumor is just so wild that it might be true: The iPhone 5, or whatever it’s to be called, will be made of LiquidMetal, which will allow for a unique unibody construction.
But again, these are just unfounded rumors. Please proceed with caution.
Gene Munster, analyst for Piper Jaffray, stated that chipmaker Qualcomm is gearing up to supply the LTE chipset. However, per Qualcomm’s CEO yesterday, unpredicted demand has caused supply issues. Munster believes this sets Apple up to launch the iPhone in October, conveniently a year after the iPhone 4S’ announcement.
Korea IT News recently reported that the iPhone 5 will be housed in a LiquidMetal casing. This material, an alloy of titanium, nickel, copper, zirconum and other metals, is said to have a feeling of glass despite having the physical strength of metal. The material is perfect for use in smartphones. It’s physically tough and naturally resistant to wear, scratches and dents.
However, unlike traditional metal fabrication, LiquidMetal objects can be formed with a sort of injection molding similar to plastic. This allows for a wider range of applications and physical forms — perhaps a stronger unibody casing.
Phone manufacturers have recently turned to different material to set their phones appart. Motorola used a bit of carbon fiber on the back of the RAZR phones and Samsung is said be employing ceramic for the upcoming Galaxy S III. But the benefits of LuquidMetal would set the iPhone 5 apart and Apple has the exclusive rights to the material for use in consumer electronics.
It’s safe to say that the next iPhone will be something different even if it doesn’t employ LiquidMetal. The current iPhone design has been used for nearly two years now and has had its share of problems. Even glass touted as tough as gorillas is a poor material for a phone. So sometime in the coming future, perhaps this summer or maybe in October, Apple will announce the sixth generation iPhone.