In a report released by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — known to make the most reliable iphone predictions — has said that Apple will be making a switch from the an Aluminum design to a curved glass casing in 2017. And as most people suggest, these changes won’t apply to the iPhone 7, which is set to debut at WWDC this year.
Kuo in his statement (via MacRumors), mentions that this will help Apple move away from the aluminum case design it has been shipping for the past five years, and introduce an all new form-factor and design. It will also help them differentiate themselves from the herd of metal phones, now available in the market. This change would again instill the vision and innovation that Apple has been known to portray.
In Kuo’s own words,
If iPhone 7 still uses an aluminum casing in 2016, it will be the fifth year in a row that iPhone has done so, which means there is no longer a feeling of freshness to appeal to consumers. Also, a lot of Apple’s (US) competitors are also adopting aluminium casings, which means iPhone no longer has a clear edge due to a lack of differentiation. On expectations that iPhone shipments will decline in 2016, we believe Apple will be more strongly motivated to use non-aluminium casings in 2017 in a bid to enhance the competitiveness of iPhone by offering an all-new form-factor design.
This new design change is also said to support a thinner and lighter AMOLED display, which will help compensate the increase in weight due to the addition of the glass on the front and back, like in the previous generation iPhones 4/4S.
Kuo notes that some investors are concerned that glass casing would be too heavy or fail a drop test. He however cleared that this might not really be an issue for Apple, and the added weight in particular could be offset by the switch to lighter AMOLED screens in 2017.
Apple already uses glass casing for iPhone 4/ 4S, and non-Apple brands have also been using glass casings. We therefore think a drop test will not be problematic for glass casing. A glass casing may be slightly heavier than an aluminum one of the same thickness, but the difference is so small that the use of the thinner and lighter AMOLED panel will compensate for that.
But, there’s nothing to worry. Apple is known to make ‘glass-covered’ phones in the past, and still be the global leader in terms of sales.
With the speculation of OS X being renamed to MacOS, and now this new iPhone report, Apple is certainly throwing curve-balls at us, while still keeping everything hidden behind curtains.
And the only job, we tech enthusiasts now have is to sit tight and wait on some bigger and better design changes that are due for the iPhone and it’s ecosystem in 2017.