Apple is gearing up to make an iPhone made almost entirely out of glass, according to one of its biggest suppliers.
The company will look to differentiate itself by mostly dropping the metal that it is currently constructed out of, according to the firm that makes much of that same metal.
Many rumours have suggested that the phone that’s set to be released later this year – likely called the iPhone 7 – will appear mostly similar to the existing 6 and 6s. But in 2017, the company is expected to completely re-design the phone, bringing in new screen technologies and an entirely new look.
That rumour had led to some speculation among local suppliers that the Taiwanese company that makes much of Apple’s metal casing would lose business to the ones that make its glass screen covers. But Allen Horng, CEO of Catcher Technology, said that the company will still be able to supply products to some of the phones – while apparently confirming that Apple will bring in the glass design.
"As far as I know, only one [iPhone] model will adopt glass casing next year," Mr Horng said after the annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, according to Nikkei. "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."
The fact that Mr Horng referred to “only one model” seems to lend support to an existing rumour that Apple could make different versions of the 2017 iPhone. that could include a premium or “pro” version, that might include technologies separate from those available in other models released at the same time.
Apple’s introduction of glass cases has been long rumoured. The design would presumably be something like the iPhone 4 and 4s, which included a glass back rather than the metal that has been seen in every handset since.
Analysts have suggested that Apple will move to the design as a way of making its phones more distinct in a market that has become filled with phones that largely mimic the design of iPhones.
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