2018 iPhone may get complex metal frame for better reception

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iPhone X
The iPhone X design is coming to more devices in 2018.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is planning to make big improvements to the next iPhone’s cellular reception, according to a new rumor out of Asia.

Now that the iPhone X is on sale, the Apple rumor mill is starting to turn its attention to next year’s model, and one of the most reliable analysts in the game is already starting to chime in with new clues on the 2018 lineup.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in his latest note that in order to boost cellular data reception, Apple will redesign the metal band that joins the two sides of the iPhone X together.

2018 iPhone design changes

Both Catcher and Casetek have won orders for the 2018 iPhone, based on Kuo’s note obtained by Macrumors.

“We believe the metal frame of 2H18F iPhone models will be composed of more parts (iPhone X has four parts) for improving data transmission quality,” says Kuo. “We believe Apple will need more metal frame and casing assembly capacity and new suppliers because of more complex metal frame design and casing assembly, while models equipped with AMOLED and stainless steel metal frame will increase to two (vs. only one — iPhone X — in 2H17).”

Apple will need more metal frame manufacturing capacity in 2018 because the company is rumored to bring the iPhone X design to more phones next year.

Other rumors for the 2018 iPhone lineup include the addition of Face ID and OLED screens to all models. Apple may also come out with its biggest phone ever with a Plus-sized device that packs an edge-to-edge display like the iPhone X.