Here’s Why a NEW Liquidmetal iPhone May Be Around the Corner

While a Liquidmetal iPhone does not appear to be ready for launch this year, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reported to have extended its exclusive partnership with the materials company, signaling that a product may be in development soon.

Don’t Miss: INTRODUCING: Microsoft’s NEW iPad Competitor.

A new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission details the extension of the two companies’ exclusive agreement that licenses Liquidmetal intellectual property to Apple until early 2014. The two had first entered into a Master Transaction Agreement in August 2010, with Apple agreeing to contribute $20 million to Liquidmetal subsidiary Crucible Intellectual Property in return for exclusive perpetual rights to any IP created or acquired by the company. That deal expired in February.

It was long rumored that the next-generation iPhone would be made from the alloy, but Liquidmetal inventor Atakan Peker said in an interview last month that another $300 million to $500 million of investment and three more years of development were required to ready the metal for mass production yields.

Liquidmetal is a highly strong and high-performance metal alloy that has applications in military, medical, and industrial goods products. Apple first used the material in a SIM card ejector tool for the iPhone 3G.

Don’t Miss: Apple and RIM Data Are at the Center of This Insider Trading Case.