The rumor mill has once again begun to churn out reports (some verified, some not) regarding Apple's next-generation iPhone, which is expected to drop around October. The latest involve two new technologies that, if used, will deliver a much thinner iPhone: Liquidmetal and In-Cell technology.
Liquidmetal, a material discovered by the California Institute of Technology in 1992, is a combination of various other metals including nickel, titanium, copper, and zirconium. It's said to be an extremely tough material that's also thin and very smooth to the touch. This isn't the first time Apple has been associated with Liquidmetal.
In 2010, Apple spent $20 million to acquire worldwide production rights for Liquidmetal. While there have been reports that Apple used the material for its iPhone 4 SIM card ejector tool, new rumors have Apple using Liquidmetal as a primary material in the next iPhone. The result would be an iPhone that's thinner, lighter, and more durable and scratch resistant than the current iPhone.
A report from Taiwan's Central News Agency has Apple exploring the use of a new "In-Cell" display technology that would further allow for a thinner phone. In-Cell technology, available from Japanese companies like Sony, Sharp, and Toshiba, will allow the touch sensors in the display to be embedded "inside the color filters rather than on top of them".
Both technologies point to the next iPhone being much thinner than the current model. While Apple has kept with the iPhone 4 design, makers of Android and Windows Phone handsets have produced models that are remarkably thin. Let's see if Apple can match them.