Photo: Leaner Kahney via CultofMac
Apple's recent exclusive licensing agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies was filed just weeks ago, but it seems that Apple may already be using the super-strong alloy in their products.
The question: Is it in the iPhone? Is it in the iPad? The Mac Pro or the Macbook Pro? Actually, none of the above. Liquidmetal's alloy is being used in that little pin tool used for removing the SIM card in the iPhone 3G.
Atakan Peker, co-inventor of the alloy, spoke with CultofMac last week saying that he recognized the metal when he opened his 3G, "That's my metal…I recognized it immediately. Take it from an expert, that's Liquidmetal," he said.
CultofMac said they were able to confirm independently that it was in fact the alloy by Liquidmetal Technologies. But why use such a strong, high-quality alloy for a SIM ejector?
It turns out that Apple's policy usually requires that they have at least two manufacturers for each of their components. This is in case a problem arises, such as a factory burning down, manufacturing can be picked up by the other factory. Because Liquidmetal is the only maker of this alloy, Apple had to choose a part of the iPhone that wasn't essential.
It's also said that the European models of the iPhone 3G don't ship with the same ejector; they can be bent by bare hands. However, Peker says that bending the Liquidmetal alloy by hand is very difficult, "unless you want to hurt or cut your fingers."