Even before the iPhone 7 was officially announced, there was already plenty of gossip surrounding the iPhone 8 on the web. KGI Securities analyst and Apple Nostradamus Ming Chi Kuo predicted last spring that the iPhone 7 would be a “marginal” upgrade over the 6s, and would lack “many attractive selling points” for customers. Although calling the iPhone 7 a “marginal” upgrade is debatable – the camera and much of the internal hardware saw some impressive upgrades – it is true that the launch of the iPhone 7 failed to include any truly innovative new features or design changes. Rumor has it, however, that the iPhone 8 will be a differently story entirely.
Kuo predicted in April of 2016 that the iPhone 8 (which he referred to as the iPhone 7s at the time) would include a glass enclosure akin to the iPhone 4. He also predicted that the iPhone 8 display would feature AMOLED technology, a first for the iPhone which has utilized LCD technology since the original iPhone was released in 2007. Kuo later added that the iPhone 8 will lack a physical home button, instead embedding it and the Touch ID sensor under the display, and may even add wireless charging. If true, it all adds up to be an impressive redesign for the 2017 iPhone, and a recent report seems to indicate that at least one of those predictions will come true.
Chinese publication DigiTimes recent published a report claiming that Apple’s next generation iPhone will abandon aluminum, opting instead for “two reinforced glass panels and a metal frame in the middle,” reminiscent, as Kuo’s original prediction stated, of the iPhone 4 design. According to the report, the metal bezel will “be made of stainless steel using a forging process to enhance its sturdiness and reduce costs and manufacturing time.”
The report, which cites “sources from the upstream supply chain” also claims that manufacturing for the steel frame will be handled by Foxconn Electronics and US-based Jabil, the same two companies that were responsible for manufacturing the frame for the iPhone 4.