updated 10:55 am EDT, Wed April 18, 2012
Claim has Apple and Samsung go exotic in material
A rumor surfacing Wednesday has both Apple and Samsung turning towards exotic materials for their next-generation smartphones. Apple would purportedly take advantage of its Liquidmetal patent deal, ETNews said, to get a shell that was both thin and light but resistant to external damage. The design was "expected" to show at the World Wide Developers Conference in June, though without an official WWDC date, this part would be more speculation than a claim of fact.
Samsung, meanwhile, was expected to use ceramic as the main shell material in its new Galaxy flagship. The design would be both "extremely light" and comfortable. It would be a step up from the Galaxy S II's near-exclusive use of plastic.
Neither rumor is confirmed, but both have had incidental support. Liquidmetal recently said it had begun shipping components to unnamed companies. For Samsung, the use of ceramic has been mentioned in more than one outside rumor, including one from BGR.
The two would be switching from more conventional materials like glass, plastic, and steel in an attempt to improve their designs in a way that software alone can't. If widescale Liquidmetal use is viable, Apple may be hoping to return to a more durable design without simply reverting to the aluminum it used in 2007. Samsung has often been criticized for heavy use of plastic and may want to challenge its public image with its third-generation headlining smartphone.