Over the years, Apple has included a SIM-eject tool with iPhone and iPad models with a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) tray. Early Apple SIM eject tools were more substantially designed than this version and were made from an alloy named Liquidmetal.
The iPad SIM Eject Tool shipped with the original iPad. This tool is built into the envelope packaging that shipped with the iPad and is referenced in the iPad User Guide:
Remove the micro-SIM card: 1 Insert the end of the SIM eject tool into the hole on the SIM tray. Press firmly and push the tool straight in until the tray pops out. If you don’t have a SIM eject tool, you can use the end of a paper clip. 2 Pull out the SIM tray and remove the micro-SIM card from the tray.
The SIM Eject Tool is no longer included with products that include a SIM card. Instead, the Apple website recommends and depicts a somewhat inelegant bent paperclip for ejecting SIM cards.
Back in 2010, the SIM Eject Tool became newsworthy when it was disclosed that Apple had manufactured this tool from a metal alloy known as Liquidmetal. This news came after Apple “entered into an exclusive agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies.” The alloy is described as an “amorphous, non-crystalline material…2.5 times the strength of commonly used titanium alloy and 1.5 times the hardness of stainless steel found in portable electronic devices.” (AppleInsider)
Reports also stated that, “Liquidmetal Technologies has granted all of its intellectual property assets to Apple, under a worldwide agreement that gives Apple the exclusive rights to use the alloy in electronic products” at a cost of nearly $11 million (AppleInsider).
In 2018, Apple was granted patents for parts made of Liquidmetal, but the alloy has not been confirmed as being used in production, aside from this SIM Eject Tool.