One day after an unnamed Apple employee shared details about the iPhone 8 with a reporter, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shared a note with clients outlining his own expectations for the 2017 devices, which he believes will feature a glass casing, a metal frame and something special for the high-end model.
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“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 says. “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.”
It appears that the popularity of the Jet Black iPhone 7 might be driving many of Apple’s decision going forward. According to KGI, the Jet Black model accounted for between 30-35% of all preorders around the world, even though customers have to resort to more expensive models with more capacity than they might need.
Kuo also notes in his report that Apple is considering switching to “2.5D glass” on the iPhone 8 as opposed to “3D glass”. In theory, 2.5D glass would be more durable and scratch-resistant than 3D glass because of the curvature of the cut. Focusing on glass would also help Apple avoid the inventory problems that have plagued the rollout of the Jet Black iPhone 7, which sold out almost immediately on launch day.