Accurate Apple Analyst Predicts iPhone Will Have Glass Casing in 2017

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a reported today suggesting Apple’s future iPhone design, specifically in 2017, will bring about a non-aluminum design, and possibly go back to glass.

Kuo believes the rationale for doing so will be because of a possible decline of iPhones sold this year, so a fresh new form factor for the following year would help boost sales and interest, according to a note obtained by MacRumors:

On expectations that iPhone shipments will decline in 2016, we believe Apple will be more strongly motivated to use non-aluminum casings in 2017 in a bid to enhance the competitiveness of iPhone by offering an all-new form-factor design.
The accurate Apple analyst notes the durability of an all-glass form factor will not be an issue, since it already debuted in the popular iPhone 4/4S. But also, the weight penalty of going back to a glass casing will be offset by the use of thinner and lighter AMOLED displays:
Apple already uses glass casing for iPhone 4/ 4S, and non-Apple brands have also been using glass casings. We therefore think a drop test will not be problematic for glass casing. A glass casing may be slightly heavier than an aluminum one of the same thickness, but the difference is so small that the use of the thinner and lighter AMOLED panel will compensate for that.
Last month, Kuo predicted a 5.8-inch iPhone with a curved glass case and AMOLED display would make its debut in 2017, which echoed a similar report from Digitimes. As for now, the Apple Watch uses an AMOLED display, so it would not be surprising if we see AMOLED make its way into other company products such as the iPhone.