On its release date, the phablet-sized iPhone 6 will be likely wrapped in a virtually indestructible shell with futuristic handset body build, thanks to new Apple patents that point to the use of liquid metal materials and solid-state battery for future iOS devices.
With solid-state batteries, according to Patently Apple, Apple aimed to build iOS devices that are safe to use, durable and flexible. Specifically, "the solid-state battery may have a higher energy density than the lithium-ion and/or lithium-polymer battery."
"The solid-state battery may be safer and/or more reliable than conventional lithium-ion and/or lithium-polymer batteries," the tech site added.
One of the main benefits in using the technology behind solid-state batteries was that they "are easy to miniaturize and can be constructed in thin film form." It was hardly surprising that with the know-how, Apple would release the iPhone 6 with cutting-edge form factor and bendable display screen as previously rumoured.
The only problem was how to safely and efficiently recharge solid-state batteries, which are categorised in high-power and low-power densities. Apple intended to commercialise the latter by inventing its own charging technique while operating within the same technology, Patently Apple said.
In its own system, Apple will devise monitoring and modification measures for a solid-state battery pack installed in an iPhone 6, for example, to ensure that the mechanism will not exceed its temperature threshold.
In practical application, a higher charging rate was achieved once heat build-up is kept at a certain point, Apple said. If the technology was put into full use, not only will future iPhone and iPad iterations become lighter and thinner, they will also enjoy longer operating hours in a single charge.
In the second patent, Apple boasted a manufacturing procedure that leads to the forging of three-dimensional (3-D) structures with the use of a LiquidMetal material. In terms of providing a more robust cover structure for iPhones and iPads, "the three-dimensional structures may be configured to define desired stiffness, weight, and/or flexibility within a device," Patently Apple said.
Aside from housing sensitive components of iOS devices inside an armoured 3D shell for robust protection, the technology will also guard iPhones and iPads from liquid intrusion. Apple, according to Patently Apple, intended to use the same technology in future iOS smartphone builds with the iPhone 6 likely to showcase the first rendition.
Deemed as the first Apple phablet, the iPhone 6 was forecasted by analysts for a Q1 2014 release date, likely before the rumoured iPad Mini 2 with Retina debut set on March of the same year.