In an effort to spare users the expense of iPhone repair down the line, Apple is resigning its contract with Liquidmetal Technologies for another two years, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
There has been speculation that the iPhone 5 will have the breakable back glass replaced by Liquidmetal, which is a metal alloy that has zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper and beryllium. The Los Angeles Times said it can better resist bending, scratching, denting and shattering.
“It's expensive compared to aluminum and steel,” Marios Demetriou, one of the lead researchers on the material at Caltech, told The Los Angeles Times earlier this year. “A little more than titanium, [but] not like silver and gold.”
Liquidmetal is said to have to contribute intellectual property acquired or developed by the company to something called the Crucible Intellectual Property, which Apple would have exclusive rights to. Atakan Peker, one of the inventors of the Liquidmetal alloy, told Business Insider in May that Apple will likely spent $300 million to $500 million on the technology before using it on a large scale.
Until this stronger metal makes its way to the back of the smartphone, iPhone repair is there to help users fix their devices.