Feeds

Apple fans drool over Liquidmetal widget

Amazing material put to mundane use

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.