The iPhone may finally ditch its metal casing in 2017 in favor of a new curved glass body similar to the one on Samsung’s Galaxy S7 edge.
Apple’s next big redesign of the iPhone is slated for next year, reports KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims in his latest note to investors that Apple will pair the new case design with a 5.8-inch AMOLED display.
“We expect the 2017 new iPhone model to adopt a structural design similar to that of iPhone 4/4s, meaning it will be equipped with glass on both the front and back sides, and a metal frame surrounded the edges,” Kuo writes. “The difference is that the new model will likely come with a curved screen and curved glass casing, with other important features including a 5.8-inch AMOLED display, wireless charging, and more biometric recognitions (facial or iris).”
Unlocking the iPhone with your face would be an interesting new feature if Apple can nail it. Facial-scan unlocking has been available on jailbroken iPhones for nearly five years, but we haven’t seen it implemented in a way that’s quicker or more secure than Touch ID. Previous rumors have claimed Apple may eliminate the physical home button and put a Touch ID scanner behind the LCD instead.
If rumors are correct, the iPhone 7s Plus will be the first iPhone to get an AMOLED display. Depending on the supply of AMOLED panels, Apple may be forced to add it as a high-end option for the iPhone 7s Plus, while offering 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch variants with LCD displays. We know Apple loves gigantic pieces of curved glass, so the change wouldn’t be much of a surprise.
Apple usually sticks with new iPhone designs for two years. If Kuo’s sources are right, and big design tweaks are coming just a year after 2016’s inevitable iPhone 7 launch, it would be a big change in the way Apple manufactures its world-beating smartphone.
The iPhone 7 is expected to be revealed around September with minor changes made to the design, such as the removal of two antenna bands on the back, a dual-lens camera and a slightly thinner body.