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Re: okpj post# 226090

Wednesday, 08/31/2022 10:29:45 AM

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 10:29:45 AM

Post# of 227993
Liquidmetal is better than traditional metals in three key ways: It is stronger (withstands more beating before breaking or deforming); it is more elastic than traditional metals (bends much further and returns to original form); and it is injection-molded like a plastic (it can be made in a complex shape in one shot without the need for extensive machining afterwards).

There are a few downsides:

Some Liquidmetal formulations supposedly scratch easily — I hear other formulations may solve this problem.

Some Liquidmetal formulations fail suddenly and catastrophically — so they’re fine until suddenly without warning they’re not; I hear this is why it’s not ideal for wheel hubs, for example; certain formulations may address this, I’m not sure.

Some formulations may be tricky to get out of the mold; I heard this through Joshua who some years back posted that the curved edges of the iPhones of the time were too difficult to manufacture in Liquidmetal and that this was one reason the iPhone went back to straight sides. — I imagine that some engineering could address this issue, if it is in fact an issue, but I’m not sure.

All formulations of Liquidmetal are more expensive and more difficult to produce than traditional metals. The material cost is higher, the production methods are still being developed, and fewer people are knowledgeable in bmg production (including designers, engineers, ceos etc).

I suspect the past 6 years under Li have been an effort to accentuate the positives and mitigate the negatives above, through engineering, development, and concentrating on a few key industries to develop “lighthouse products” that will show the way for the rest of the world.

Apple started the ball rolling, but realized China was the only place where this could happen on the scale necessary, primarily because of the concentration of manufacturing chops and frankly also commitment to making this manufacturing segment thrive.

In 2016 I believe Cook made a deal with Li for the latter to make this happen in 5 years. COVID lengthened the process. A later Apple deal with the CCP allowed China to get first dibs on LQMT in hinges, but also worked in Apple’s favor by furthering the manufacturing capacity, quality, and expertise necessary for Apple to bet a key product in the material. Plus it would be a large-scale test of the above.

Now it is all coming together. The capacity, the plan, the formulations, the tests.

I give Liquidmetal a 66% chance of being the upscale material of the Apple Watch Pro. 33% chance Apple uses a boutique Titanium alloy that’s not bmg. If they use Liquidmetal I give it a 50% chance that they mention Liquidmetal at all or put it’s logo or anything. Apple may want to call it Apple Titanium or give it a clever trademarked name like they have for “Retina display” and “Pro-motion” etc. if they don’t say Liquidmetal there will be a delay in LQMT popping and it may pop much lower.

Finally, if Liquidmetal isn’t in the Watch I think it’s possible it’s destiny lies in the Apple “Reality” glasses that will launch in 2023. That product will be even smaller numbers (might cost $2000+ and not have a killer app yet). Face-mounted goggles/glasses are the ultimate case for going absolutely as light as possible. If liquidmetal isn’t in the goggles, I will still hold out hope that it may be destined for the consumer-grade Apple glasses planned for 2024 or 2025. These will be lighter, svelter, cheaper, and will ideally have a killer app by then (as the first edition will be destined for developers).

That means a possible 3 more years of waiting, and a possible 7 more days of waiting. Could be either or both. Apple doesn’t care about us, or Liquidmetal’s destiny, or any other CE or other product. They’ll use it if they want. In the meantime I do believe they are at least one entity behind propping up the stock price, setting floors at 7 cents for example and buying anything below. They want the option to use it, so they’ll keep us on life support until they decide to use us or lose us.

This is probably why Tony Chung is exasperated and trying anything on any other front. He knows it could be now, or never, and that there’s not much he can do about Apple but wait. (And as long as Apple eschews Liquidmetal I’m not convinced anyone else in the world is inclined to try it for much. If Apple, who knows this material intimately, can’t be convinced to use it in *anything at all*, why would anyone else give the material the time of day?)

So we wait and hope. The material is amazing. Whether anyone of significance will bite is the $10,000 Question.

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