iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup: Liquid Metal Components, October Arrival

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2012-04-22
 
 
 

As anticipation mounts for the next generation of Apple€™s iPhone, the rumor mill is in full tilt, with speculation growing that the smartphone will be hitting store shelves in October. Also fueling speculation is a report from the Korean IT news site that suggests the iPhone 5 will be fabricated using liquid metal components.

€œ[The] iPhone5 is likely to take liquid metal, an alloy of zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper and so forth having an outer surface smooth like liquid,€ the report said, citing unnamed industry sources.

Apple blog AppleInsider pointed out that while the Korean report refers to a €œliquid metal€ design, the company in fact bought the rights to Liquidmetal, an amorphose metal manufactured by Liquidmetal Technologies, which received a $20 million payment from Apple in March. Liquidmetal Technologies announced in March that its manufacturing operations are currently in the midst of shipping commercial parts to several of its customers worldwide, noting parts delivery began this past December with continuing shipments scheduled for the months ahead.

€œAdditional Liquidmetal Technologies customer parts are scheduled to be part of the manufacturing pipeline in the coming months as the company continues to ramp its production capabilities,€ a company release stated.

The Korean report also questionably makes the claim that the phone will debut at Apple€™s Worldwide Developer Conference in June, though many analysts are expecting the iPhone 5 to touch down in October. However, earlier this month, comments from a recruiter with an electronics manufacturing company also indicated Apple may be moving the release of the iPhone 5 back to a summer schedule. According to the Japanese technology blog Macotakara, which picked up on the comments when the recruiter was speaking to reporters on TV Tokyo's "World Business Satellite" program, Foxcomm is planning to hire 18,000 people to make the iPhone 5. "It will come out in June," the recruiter is reported to have said.

In a Wednesday report, Reuters quoted Qualcomm chief executive Paul Jacobs as saying the company was having trouble meeting demand for its smartphone chips due to manufacturing constraints, which analysts suggest could push back to October the release date of the iPhone, which is expected to use the company€™s MDM9615 LTE chipset.

"Demand went so far ahead of availability that we've decided to start spending more money to get more supply as soon as possible," Jacobs told Reuters. "Any time we can't make a customer totally happy I'm going to worry. You don't want to give a customer a reason to go elsewhere."

 

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