iPhone 8 Will Feature a Glass and Stainless Steel Chassis, iPhone 7s Won’t

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As if we needed any further confirmation that Apple’s OLED-equipped iPhone 8 is going to be one of the most captivating smartphones of the year, a new report published by DigiTimes on Tuesday morning appears to lend even more credence to previous rumors about the high-end device’s so-called ‘glass sandwich’ design.

While Apple is expected to release a total of three new iPhones later on this fall, including two, interim updates to the 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones, the DigiTimes report, citing unnamed supply chain sources, is suggesting that only a top-tier, 5.8-inch variant will feature a full-glass composition. As such, the device will reportedly boast a complete, front-to-back glass body, which will be reinforced by a stainless steel frame, according to the report.

What’s more, Apple’s lower-tier, 4.7-inch iPhone 7s will reportedly retain the same aluminum alloy chassis as its predecessors.

“The reinforced glass chassis’ stainless steel metal frame will be supplied by Foxconn Technology and US-based Jabil Circuit,” supply chain sources indicated, while adding that “the aluminum-alloy chassis will be supplied by Catcher Technology.”

Still unknown, according to DigiTimes, is what Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus will be constructed from — however, given the Silicon Valley tech-giant’s vast and complex, Shenzhen-based manufacturing facilities that are already in place, we would be hard-pressed to believe anything other than 7000 series aluminum-alloy will be the company’s choice.

These rumors would all but confirm previous reports, including those spearheaded by KGI Securities heavyweight, Ming Chi Kuo, which have unanimously pointed to both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch models being constructed using Apple’s pre-existing mechanisms. As for the iPhone 8, however, in order to warrant the rumored $1,000+ price tag, the uber-premium device will feature a structure similar to Apple’s iPhone 4.

However, the report goes on to allege that one of Apple’s iPhone chassis suppliers, Casetek, is still struggling to fulfill the company’s existing orders for the next-generation iPhone model — even despite the firm’s otherwise aggressive push to send in engineered chassis samples that are both sufficient in quality and quantity to meet the expected high-demand for the device.

Meanwhile, Apple’s long-time aluminum-alloy chassis supplier, Catcher Technology, had declined to respond to DigiTimes’ request for comment. Although the firm did, however, note that its revenues will see a major year-over-year growth in 2017, which could easily mean that orders for iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus casings have indeed been strong. Catcher also manufactures metal casings for other devices, as well, including notebook computers, tablets, and more, which could also contribute to the company’s bottom-line.

Apple’s highly-anticipated, OLED-equipped iPhone 8 will more than likely be touching down later in the 3rd quarter alongside the iPhone 7s models.

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