Apple’s radical iPhone design you wanted this year isn’t happening. That much is abundantly clear. But Apple is working on a brand new iPhone for next year, multiple rumors have said, which makes plenty of sense considering that 2017 will mark the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, and Apple may want to celebrate it in style with a hot new iPhone launch.
A new report from Asia indicates that one of the changes coming to the iPhone concerns the chassis. Apple is reportedly dumping metal for glass next year for at least one iPhone version, and Foxconn is already working on parts that would meet Apple’s requirements.
The glass iPhone supposed to launch next year might also feature an AMOLED display, and could incorporate a metal frame. The design seems familiar because that’s exactly the kind of design Samsung has used for its recent Galaxy flagships. It’s unclear whether the 2017 iPhone would also have curved edges, but the AMOLED screen and glass chassis combo seems to indicate that would be the case.
“Foxconn has been trying glass chassis since last year,” a person familiar with the plans told Nikkei.
“It is only natural that Foxconn is trying to come up with glass chassis as the capabilities to provide more components will bolster its standing within the supply chain and help with more orders,” a second source noted.
Foxconn already makes a lot of money from its sales to Apple, topping 50% of revenue. The Chinese giant supplies a large number of metal casings for the iPhone phablets (iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 7), and the iPhone SE. It makes sense to hear that Foxconn is interested in making glass parts for the future iPhone as well.
Foxconn also wants to develop OLED displays for smartphones, though Samsung is expected to be the main suppliers of iPhone OLED screens next year.