The iPhone 7’s not even been officially unveiled yet, and already suppliers are prepping for next year’s tenth-birthday iPhone refresh, according to a new report.
Specifically, an equipment maker called Mirle Automation has reportedly been working on the necessary technology to replicate the 3D curved glass chassis seen on devices like the the Galaxy S7 edge and the new Galaxy Note 7. And it’s paying off.
Mirle is said to have already obtained orders for the equipment from both Foxconn Technology and Lens Technology, and will be making shipments to them in the fourth quarter of this year, which would coincide with the start of the supply-side production schedule for next year’s iPhone.
The report adds that the companies which will be making the actual 3D curved glass displays for Apple’s next-next-gen phones include Foxconn, Bern Optics and Lens Technology. Of these companies, Foxconn is said to have already had its glass chassis given “verification” by Apple.
Curved glass is rumored to be one of the big changes Apple will be making to the iPhone form factor for next year’s anniversary iPhone — along with OLED displays, which are said to be produced by Samsung.
While there would certainly be some irony in Apple copying Samsung’s curved glass displays after suing it for ripping off the iPhone’s look and feel, the decision would certainly make sense, considering how successful curved smartphones have been for the South Korean tech giant in recent years.