A fresh leak from DigiTimes reveals the next version of the Apple iPhone — we are still not certain it will be called the iPhone 8 — will be made using a stainless steel frame to hold together two glass panels similar to the iconic iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s designs. However, this time around the chassis will be made of forged stainless steel.
As Apple Insider explains, forging stainless steel is a machining method that essentially squeezes a metal alloy between two halves of a mold to form a finished part, resulting in a better rigidity and reduction in costs and manufacturing time. The stainless steel used in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s was CNC-machined.
DigiTimes further revealed that Apple has already placed orders for the stainless steel parts with Foxconn and US-based Jabil expected to supply the new components.
The report seems to confirm that Apple is in favor of ditching the aluminum back cover for a return to the “glass sandwich” design. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities first revealed Apple’s plans for an all-new “glass-backed” iPhone 8 back in April. Kuo has further predicted changes such as an OLED display, wireless charging, an invisible home button and more.
Apple is rumoured to be working on three new iPhone models for this year, including the supercharged iPhone 8, as well as the successors to the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. Japanese blog Macotakara reports that all three iPhones will boast identical specifications, citing sources within Apple’s Taiwanese supply chain. Meanwhile, a recent report in the Wall Street Journal claimed Apple is currently testing more than 10 different prototypes of the next-generation iPhone. At least one of the prototypes is said to feature a curved OLED display with no bezels — similar to that of Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.
2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, and without any doubt Apple is allegedly planning a major design overhaul for the iPhone 8. It’s too early to say what Apple has planned, but either way it should be impressive.