Apple is expected to release an iPhone next year that completely revamps the device, with a glass back, an edge-to-edge display, and possibly wireless charging.
The newest details about the 2017 iPhone, which could be called the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 10, come from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most accurate analysts on Apple.
Some iPhones could be made out of stainless steel, Kuo writes, according to a research note obtained by Apple Insider.
These phones could have a glass back and front, perhaps like the iPhone 4, but will have a stainless steel edge for “reinforced structure design,” according to Apple Insider.
“As all-glass casing is not possible at present given technological bottlenecks, a metal frame surrounding the edge is necessary for reinforced structure design,” Kuo wrote.
One twist is that the stainless steel model could be exclusive to the higher-end, more expensive iPhone, similar to how Apple positions its watches. “As stainless steel has a better look than aluminum and costs more, we expect only high-end new iPhone models to come with a stainless steel frame next year,” according to Kuo.
It’s unclear whether the glass casing will be limited to the high-end model as well. Kuo seems to think glass casing will be available on all models, a change from previous Apple plans.
One of Apple’s main casing partners, Catcher Technology, has discussed the 2017 iPhone in public before.
“As far as I know, only one [iPhone] model will adopt glass casing next year,” the CEO of Catcher Technology said earlier this year. “I don’t think this move will have an impact on Catcher’s revenue, as glass casing still needs a durable metal frame, which requires advanced processing technology and would not be cheaper than the current model.”