Apple is planning on expanding its casing business for the 2018 iPhone lineup to Catcher and Casetek, including a new stainless steel casing required to improve data transmission quality, suggest new supply chain reports.
According to well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities (via MacRumors), 2018 iPhones will feature a “more complex” metal frame design and casing assembly for the purpose of improving data transmission quality.
Here’s an excerpt of Kuo’s most recent note with KGI Securities:
Orders for 2H18F iPhones are market focus; both Catcher and Casetek have won new orders. 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. 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). We expect Catcher will obtain stainless steel metal frame and casing assembly orders. If Casetek can pass certification in late 4Q17 or early 1Q18, it also may win aluminum metal frame and casing assembly orders.
According to Kuo, Catcher will obtain stainless steel metal frame and casing assembly orders from Apple. However, should Casetek pass certification at some point this year or early next, it could win aluminum frame and casing assembly orders from the Cupertino company.
As a side-effect, Mr. Kuo predicts that Catcher may obtain new design order for 2018 iMacs, as well as a predicted 2018 augmented reality-centric product.
Kuo previous stated last week that he believes Apple will likely expand its Face ID technology to all 2018 iPhone models, abandoning Touch ID completely. He also noted that next year’s iPhone lineup will not receive a rear-facing TrueDepth camera system.