HTC looking to build upcoming smartphones out of Liquidmetal [RUMOR]


Virtue case liquidmetal

There are rumors suggesting HTC could be looking towards new materials to build their next big smartphone. According to the oft hit-or-miss Digitimes, HTC is interested in using Liquidmetal to form the chassis of new line of smartphones, said to be due towards the 2nd half of this year.

HTC’s difficulties with the production process in manufacturing the black HTC One made headlines after the device suffered from delays in many markets due to its unique finish/color. HTC wants to avoid ever making this mistake again, which is where Liquidmetal steps in.

HTC will contract Jabon International to supply the new smartphone chassis after rumors that Apple could be going a similar route next-gen iPhones. Seems HTC could be trying to beat Apple to the punch. While demand for an aluminum smartphone is still high (we hear the HTC One has been selling quite well), Liquidmetal offers many of the same benefits and then some. Liquidmetal features twice the strength as titanium, while allowing for a repeatable mold similar to plastic that can be produced quickly and efficiently. To learn more about Liquidmetal, check out the quick video from the History Channels Modern Marvels below.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Ok…cue the Terminator comments…

    1. I was just about to post this. Pretty cool concept.

    2. It’s going to be able to split into two.

    3. Just as long as they aren’t partnering with Cyberdyne Systems for this.

      1. That is what Google is, they do a lot of work in AI

    4. HTC will name the first liquid metal phone…the T-1000.

  2. Didn’t Acer do this a couple of years ago?

    1. It was called the Acer Liquid Metal. It wasn’t made out of liquid metal (plastic and stainless steel I believe).

  3. It’s a shame Modern Marvels had to be moved to H2 just so the History channel could have more time to play American Pickers and Pawn Stars. Screw you reality TV!!!

    1. And alien shows. Lets not forget that everything started with Aliens and was guided by Aliens. Aliens = History.

  4. HTC’s New Motto.. “Come with me if you want to live”

  5. Something that should be understood about Titanium and metal in general. There is a big difference between toughness (ductility) and strength (abrasion resistant). Titanium’s advantage is being very resistant to abrasion and very light for it size. Hence the use as rotors on aircraft. However Titanium is very brittle and not impact resistant. Great for a chef’s knife, terrible for a sword. Because it isn’t tough it is most often used as an alloy. So for a cell phone you wouldn’t want a strong metal anyway as it would break in pieces when you dropped it.

    1. This is wrong. Strength of metals refers to their ability to bear a load. I believe you were thinking of hardness when you mentioned scratch resistance. Ductility is the ability of a material to bend or stretch under stress.

      1. If you want to get really technical:

        “Hardness is the measure of how resistant solid matter is to various kinds of permanent shape change when a force is applied.”

        “Strength is a measure of the extent of a material’s elastic range, or elastic and plastic ranges together.”

        “The toughness of a material is the maximum amount of energy it can absorb before fracturing, which is different from the amount of force that can be applied.”

        So hardness is about permanent change, strength is about elastic (non-permanent) change, and toughness is about energy (rather than force).

        In terms of swords and knives the terms hardness and strength are often used interchangeably, even though technically they shouldn’t. So with that in mind Titanium is not high in strength, or toughness just hardness.

        1. Thanks. That comes across much more accurately than your previous post did.

          One more thing, though. Titanium alloys can be just as tough as or tougher than steels, and depending on the formulation could be made roughly suitable for a sword. Though I imagine a titanium sword would wind up being some combination of too large or too light. (I’m not a swordsman, so can’t really say too much on that.)

          1. You are exactly right (and I did mention alloy in my OP), while the alloy would have roughly similar performance as steel it would end up being too large.

    2. You seem to be assuming that the liquid metal HTC/Jabon will be using will be titanium based, Aaron. I don’t see this claim anywhere — just a comparison of liquid metal to normal, (multi-)crystalline titanium.

      1. I’m not assuming anything. I’m saying comparison to Titanium is often misunderstood. Titanium is hard to cut, but easy to break. The other advantage it has is being resistant to oxidation. Hollywood has put the idea in people’s heads that Titanium is some sort of miracle metal.

    3. The whole point of Liquidmetal is that it is not Titanium. As someone who worked in the metal industry for years, I know this is a new alloy that they have patented. It basically is an aluminum based alloy that has been modified to have properties similar to plastic. It liquefies at a very low temperature relative to comparable metals and it takes a lot of energy for it to change phases. This means once they get it in liquid form it holds that phase for longer than normal metal which tends to cool quickly and harden, which is what also makes it difficult to cast into complex parts. According to their sales team, which i have met with, This allows them to cast metals parts that are highly accurate and repeatable, without needing machining afterwards. Also since the parts cool at a relatively slow pace they tend to be less brittle and have more flex and strength, while still holding their original shape.

      1. I agree with all your observations about Liquidmetal. It should be a great material to put in a cellphone design. Trying to compare it to Titanium is doing it a great disservice. It’s like saying (exaggeration) “This new body armor performs way better than a dress shirt.” Well, yeah, I would hope that it would.

  6. I had a USB pen drive made out of liquidmetal. Tough as nails. Until I dropped my laptop with it still in it, bent the USB connector but the rest of the drive was undamaged. Could be a good thing to make phones out of…

  7. When does it become self aware?

    1. Yes, Apple has an exclusive with the company called LiquidMetal, but they aren’t the only company that can make actual liquidmetal.

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