Here’s Disappointing News for iPhone Lovers

One of the inventors of the breakthrough Liquidmetal material is delivering bad news to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans hoping for a product redesign. Though rumors that Apple planned to use the high-performance material in its next-generation iPhones and MacBooks have been raging recently, Atakan Peker says the company is likely saving the switch for a “breakthrough” product instead.

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“Given the size of MacBook and scale of Apple products, I think it’s unlikely that Liquidmetal casing will be used in MacBooks in the near term,” Peker told Business Insider. He added that, “A MacBook casing, such as a unibody, will take two to four more years to implement.” However, Peker did say the material may be used on a much smaller scale to start with, for instance a hinge or a bracket.

Peker said Liquidmetal is a new technology still in the process of being developed, though Apple is planning a big investment in it. “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 be used in a large scale,” he said.

Apple has bought exclusive rights for the product, a clear indication for Peker that it will launch with a standout product. “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 said.

Though Liquidmetal looks like steel, it is “super strong, scratch- and corrosion-resistant, resilient,” according to the co-inventor. “The benefits will be in the form of strong and aesthetic structural components, such as casing and frames.”

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