iPhone 5S Release Date Nears as Apple Begins Mass Production of LiquidMetal Case, Ramps up IC Chip Orders

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By Erik Pineda | July 22, 2013 2:05 PM EST

The iPhone 5S on release date will sport a virtually indestructible housing made of LiquidMetal, which is but part of the many components involved in the already underway volume production of the Apple 2013 flagship smartphone.

There is reason to believe that the tech giant's production facilities in China are currently humming away to complete the iPhone 5S in time, BGR News said in a report. While the handset may be housed in the same iPhone 5 casing, this shell is made of a different material, which is far and away more durable than anodised aluminium.

LiquidMetal, according to BGR, is "a unique material that is two to three times harder than normal metals ... (it) can be injection moulded into custom parts and shapes."

The result would be a 5S body-build that "is very scratch resistant, and yet extremely light."

Following Apple's acquisition of this technology some years back, it is hardly a surprise that the tech giant is now in the process of "scale production enough to build hundreds of millions of handsets."

The same report also predicted that Apple will use a sapphire crystal screen on the iPhone 5S and the company will offer "the most amazing hardware that will be impossible for its rivals to replicate." It will be a different mobile device experience, inside and out, that the tech firm will deliver in the next few months, BGR declared.

Supporting the assertion that iPhone 5S materials are now rolling, ready for assembly, on production lines is the report that Apple pushed up its integrated circuit chip orders by 70 per cent for the second half of 2013, jumping from the level seen beginning in late 2012 or shortly after the iPhone 5 launch.

According to DigiTimes, the accelerated rise in IC shipments later this year is in support of shipment target of 40 million units for Q3 2013, covering the 5S, the low-cost iPhone Lite and the iPhone 5.

Apple has previously stated that production of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will be discontinued beginning the second half of 2013. However, existing stocks of the legacy iOS devices should last for a few more months, meaning they will remain available for the months to come.

The iPhone 5S is set for a September release date with significant enough upgrades such as the following: a faster quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 4-inch display on Retina+, 12MP cam with LED flash, LTE radio signal, fingerprint sensor and NFC chip for wireless payment capability.

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