Apple Planning to Use Glass for 2017 iPhone’s Chassis [Report]

Glass iphone 8 png

In an attempt to differentiate itself from the increasing number of smartphones with aluminium chassis on the market, Apple is planning to use glass for the body of the 2017 iPhone, Nikkei is reporting (via MacRumors) citing Allen Horng, the CEO of Catcher Technology, which is one of Apple’s main suppliers for the iPhone’s metal body. Mr. Horng said that at least one iPhone model set to launch in 2017 will feature a glass body.

“As far as I know, only one [iPhone] model will adopt glass casing next year,” Horng told reporters after the annual shareholder meeting on Thursday. “I don’t think this move will have an impact on Catcher’s revenue as glass casing still needs a durable metal frame which requires advanced processing technology and would not be cheaper than the current model”.

Mr. Horng however believes that Apple’s transition to glass will not impact Catcher’s business since the company will still be using a metal frame for the device. He added that there will be no Apple iPhone using a glass-only casing without a metal frame. 

Previously, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that Apple will use a glass-backed design for the 2017 iPhone. The analyst has also predicted that a glass body may only be present in some of the devices planned for 2017, suggesting Apple may release a mix of glass-bodied and aluminum-bodied devices next year.

From Kuo’s note:

“In 2017, the ratio of new iPhone models using aluminum casing will likely drop significantly from current 100% to 40% or less. In addition to reiterating our view from the March 25 report, we believe the share of new iPhone models using aluminum casing will significantly fall from the current 100% to 40% or less”.

Would you prefer a glass-bodied iPhone over a full metallic body?

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  • Tim Stewart

    If it’s not cheaper, and it’s heavier (generally glass is heavier than aluminum when structural), plus would need to be thicker due to needing an internal frame, and it’s a better insulator while also more fragile. I don’t see Apple heading in this direction without some significant advancements being announced in material science.

  • xxxJDxxx

    iPhone 4?

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    Yeah, they brought back the iPhone 5 design this year, so it makes sense to bring back the iPhone 4 design next year.

  • I really loved the iPhone 4 design and think it would nice to have something similar again. One of the things I loved most about it was that I could use it without needing a case to protect it from scratches.