iPhone 2017 prediction: Glassy with a hint of steel

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all-glass-iPhone-concept
An all-glass iPhone concept.
Photo: YouTube/Kyle Hatfield

Next year’s iPhone won’t be another repackaged iPhone 6. According to one reliable analyst, fans can look forward to an overhauled design with a scratch-resistant glass casing, and stainless steel edges on high-end models.

Demand for the jet black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus has proven that everyone wants super shiny smartphones. But jet black seems to be little more than a stepping stone to something a lot fancier that’s not going to scratch anywhere near as easily.

Reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to investors on Thursday in which he claims next year’s iPhone will ship with an all-new form factor that sports glass panels on its front and back sides.

Those glass panels will be held together by an aluminum frame on most models, Kuo adds — but more expensive options will offer stainless steel instead. This is the same approach Apple takes with Apple Watch.

“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 writes in the note obtained by AppleInsider.

“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.”

Previously, Kuo’s sources suggested that iPhone fans would have to opt for the Plus-sized iPhone to get glass panels front and back. However, he now believes that all options in 4.7- and 5.5-inch sizes will have them for 2017.

Kuo has previously reported that next year’s iPhone, which could be named iPhone 8, will be Apple’s first with an edge-to-edge OLED display, which would conceal things like the home button, Touch ID sensor, earpiece, and FaceTime camera beneath the glass.