Feeds

Apple fans drool over Liquidmetal widget

Amazing material put to mundane use

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

It should come as no surprise that Apple fanboys are moistened by their favourite vendor's use of novel materials, and you can understand that excitement when a device uses a clever new compound in its construction.

But it's downright scary when the discovery that a tiny, often overlooked iPhone accessory is formed from a fancy alloy prompts so many blog posts and fansite write-ups after being revealed by Cult of Mac.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the iPhone's SIM ejector tool is made of something called Liquidmetal.

For those of you who aren't metallurgists, Liquidmetal is a California Institute of Technology-developed alloy that's strong, light, and highly resistant to wear and corrosion.

We mean no disrepect to Liquidmetal's inventors or the team the commercialises this tougher-than-titanium substance, but what sort of arse gets excited by the fact that Apple has used this substance to make a widget uses to ping out a phone's SIM tray?

Apparently, the Liquidmetal SIM ejector tool only shipped with US-bound iPhone 3G handests - 'lesser' European and Asian buyers got steel tools instead. No doubt they're feeling extremely hard done by - or would be if their ejectors popped out the SIM trays any less efficiently than the Liquidmetal one does.

The steel ejector that came with this reporter's UK-sourced iPhone 4 certainly does the job well enough, and we defy anyone outside the Reality Distortion Field to prove that Liquidmetal - as good as it may be for other applications - makes for a superior SIM ejection experience.

Apple might well have chosen the SIM ejector tool as a testbed to sample Liquidmetal's resilience in real world usage, and that's fair enough. But does it really warrant so many awestruck column inches?

Of course, what's really interesting here is that Apple has paid Liquidmetal Technologies, the company formed to licence the alloy, at least $11m for the exclusive right to use the material in consumer electronics kit. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.