Early next month, Apple will likely take the wraps off a pair of new smart phones.
One will be the next Apple flagship phone, possibly called the iPhone 5S (recall that the sequel to the iPhone 4 was the iPhone 4S). The other could be a budget device, targeted at audiences who have thus far held off on buying an iPhone. The current consensus puts the name of this device as the iPhone 5C – C in this case being short for "color" (after its colorful cases) or maybe just "cheaper."
And according to a new report from the Taiwanese site Apple Daily (you'll need to run the link through a translator, unless you read Chinese), the iPhone 5C will be equipped with a super scratch-resistant shell. In a video posted to Apple Daily, a man puts what appears to be an iPhone 5C in a bag with a bunch of sharp or abrasive objects – keys, coins, screws – and shakes vigorously.
We imagine the whole thing is meant to be a simulacrum for the most dangerous pants pockets on earth. Anyway, after a few seconds, the iPhone 5C is removed, and voila – not a scratch to be seen. (It's worth noting that we routinely beat the heck out of our iPhone 5, and the thing doesn't appear to be all that much worse for wear, save a few mild dents around the edges.)
Is the video real? It's hard to say. But over at ZDNet, Jason D. O'Grady lays out a pretty interesting theory.
"In August 2010 Apple acquired LiquidMetal and its new metallic/glass substance that has twice the strength of Titanium but the moldability of plastic," Mr. O'Grady writes. "Then, in late 2010, Apple filed a patent application for 'Nitriding Stainless Steel for Consumer Electronic Products' which resists scratches by placing a layer of nitride over a stainless steel exterior. Hmmm...Don't be surprised if the iPhone 5C case is fabricated from nitride-coated LiquidMetal."