The eagerly-awaited iPhone handset is expected to launch later this year and industry experts are already speculating about the features that could distinguish the new handset.
A Korean news agency has claimed that the new handset will be cased in 'liquid metal', citing sources close to the project. The case is rumoured to be up to 20 times stronger than that fitted to the iPhone 4S, which was unveiled late last year. And the news agency observed that the metallic glass is "a metal alloy, but one with the disordered structure of glass".
The material is not new, of course, having been developed in the 1990s. However, thanks to a breakthrough in "superspeed pulse mould technology", this type of glass is as tough as metal. Consequently, Apple sees it as the ideal material for phone casings.
Liquidmetal Techologies Ltd, the inventors of the material, has signed an exclusive deal with Apple to produce the component for the new handset, which is expected to be even more dramatic and powerful than the iPhone 4S. Official figures have yet to be revealed, but speculation has suggested that Apple paid as much as $11 million for the agreement.
The metallic glass will be used to create the back casing rather than the glass display, which consumers have moaned about in the not-too-distant past. As ever, the California-based tech giant has refused to comment on the speculation or even reveal an expected launch date for the new handset.
Meanwhile, Samsung's eagerly-awaited S3 handset, the next Galaxy smartphone, will be made of high-tech ceramics, according to the same Korean news agency.
Are you looking forward to the launch of the new iPhone, or is Apple's dominance of the marketplace proving unhealthy?