HTC looking to trump Apple and release a Liquidmetal handset first?

HTC looking to trump Apple and release a Liquidmetal handset first?Liquidmetal. C'mon, admit it – it sounds cool.

We previously heard about the futuristic material last year when we were told that Apple had an exclusive deal on using the stuff in a consumer electronics context, but now it seems HTC may be looking to get their first.

Apple's deal, which we reported on in June last year, is with US firm Liquidmetal Intellectual and is in fact a two-year extension to an agreement that has already seen Liquidmetal used in the SIM-card ejection mechanism in the Apple iPhone 3G.

So far, though, that's it, and despite Apple apparently having hired staff with chassis management expertise, suggesting it's finally looking to use Liquidmetal in a more meaningful way, HTC is exploring ways of releasing Liquidmetal-based products first.

DigiTimes reveals that HTC is talking to fellow Taiwan-based firm JaBon International, a chassis manufacturer, about using the material in its upcoming smartphone releases.

Liquidmetal is the commercial name for a versatile amorphous alloy developed by Caltech in the US, and is extremely strong and scratch-resistant.

According to DigiTimes, HTC has set up a research team from Japan to collaborate with JaBon on the upcoming device.

What isn't clear is exactly how the device and HTC's work with JaBon would get around existing intellectual property issues, and Apple's agreement with Liquidmetal Intellectual, to get a handset on the market.

Additionally, demand for aluminium-alloy unibody chassis' currently remains strong, while current HTC chassis partner Catcher Technology says it hasn't heard about any change to its working relationship with the phone maker.

Needless to say, neither HTC nor JaBon is willing to comment on the record.

Read more about: Android

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2 comments

Stelph  May. 29, 2013 at 15:50

A wad of cash for the company who combine liquid metal and flexable LCD's to create the first terminator style morphing phone

Dougal1709  May. 29, 2013 at 16:49

All this money and effort spent on making mobile phones feel all premium, slim and sturdy and 90% of owners stick them in an ugly plastic case anyway

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