iPhone 6 Could Feature Liquid Alloy Home Button, Touch Sensors: Patents (Release Date, Specs Rumors)

  • Michael Briggs , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • Jan, 14, 2014, 11:41 AM

Apple may finally make use of metal alloys in the iPhone 6, according to a report by MacRumors.

The Cupertino-based company first signed an agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies in 2010, but nothing has come to fruition through the partnership, to date. However, all that could change with the upcoming Apple flagship smartphone.

17 recently-published patents indicate that Apple has been working on implementing liquid alloys into its devices and could use the alloys for the pressure sensors in the Home Button, display touch sensors and even the screws that hold Apple devices together. While none of the patents are directly tied to Apple, MacRumors reveals that “the inventors listed on the patents are Apple employees who have routinely been associated with the company’s work on Liquidmetal alloys in the past.”

Stay tuned.

2014's Apple flagship smartphone could feature a super-thin design, according to a new report by Korean publication ET News.

The iPhone 6 is being tabbed at just 6mm thick, which would make the smartphone a full 1.6mm thinner than the iPhone 5S, which is already lauded for being one of the market's thinnest high-end smartphones. The ET News report dubs the next-generation iPhone the 'iPhone Air,' which certainly seems like a possibility given Apple's recent name change for the latest full-size iPad.

The iPhone 6, or 'Air,' could feature a thinner size due to its rumored larger screen, which could help squeeze in more space for internal components, Business Insider reports.

Speaking of size, according to a recent report by Chinese publication Weibo, the iPhone 6 will come in two sizes.

The report sources Foxconn, the group which makes the iPhone for Apple. These insiders have revealed to the publication that iPhone 6 production will be split between two models—a 4.7-inch variant and a 5.7-inch option; adding that the 5.7-inch model could even end up being bigger than 5.7 inches.

Both models are rumored to come with at least "one form of biometrics, which could include fingerprint or eye recognition," GSM Arena reports.

It has been widely speculated for months that Apple would release two iPhones in 2014, though it has also been reported that they would be two completely different models rather than the same phone in different sizes.

Apple will release the 5-inch iPhone 6, in May and a large tablet, the iPad Max, in October, according to a new report by Digitimes.

The report cites "sources from the upstream supply chain," which told the website that Apple's China Mobile deal has made it apparent that the Cupertino-based company needs to unveil a phablet-sized smartphone to compete with Samsung in the Asian market. The release of the iPhone 6 would also help make the iPhone 5C more "affordable and attractive" to the Chinese market, where it has been a disappointment for its higher-than-expected price, Forbes reports.

Digitimes adds that the 12.9-inch iPad Max will release in the fall "targeting North America's educational market [and]... manufactured by Quanta Computer." The tablet would arrive as a competitor to Samsung's rumored 12 to 13-inch tablet and feature new cases with integrated keyboards and batteries, according to the report. The iPad Max will be best-suited for high school and college students that require a tablet that can 'do work,' Forbes reports.

Another recent report suggests the upcoming Apple flagship won't feature the curved display packed in the LG G Flex of Galaxy Round.

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