HTC is purportedly looking into the use of Liquidmetal casings for future smartphones. According to Digitimes, HTC may team up with Jabon International, a Taiwanese chassis maker, as well as an R&D team from Japan, to produce the casings.
Liquidmetal is a relatively new development in the metal molding and casting industry. Created by researchers at the California Institute of Technology, Liquidmetal is a metal alloy which has a high tensile strength, elasticity, and hardness, at the same time. It is also greatly resistant against corrosion. At present, Liquidmetal is used in the manufacture of a wide range of products ranging from sports equipment to flash drives to cars.
Liquidmetal’s properties would allow smartphones with a casing made of Liquidmetal to withstand wear and tear much more efficiently than those which were made using other alloys.
At present, HTC’s flagship smartphone, the HTC One comes with a unibody design made out of aluminum, which likewise gives the handset a high level of protection. It remains to be seen, however, how the aluminum-encased HTC One will fare when compared with an HTC smartphone with a Liquidmetal casing.
In any case, should the rumor be accurate, and HTC does push through with using Liquidmetal technology, the company will be able to compete better against Apple. Apple is also believed to be preparing smartphones with Liquidmetal casings. The Cupertino giant supposedly entered into a two-year contract with Liquidmetal Intellectual, a company based in the United States, to create the Apple device.
Yet, while all these speculations about Liquidmetal are exciting, Digitimes notes the skepticism of chassis suppliers regarding the technology. Digitimes illustrates that the demand for the aluminum-alloy unibody chassis is still high. Moreover, Apple remains to be in partnership with companies like Foxconn, Casetek, and Catcher Technology, which do not specialize in Liquidmetal. Thus, there may not be much hope that a device with a Liquidmetal casing, whether from Apple or HTC, will hit the market anytime soon.
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