Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone will have a glass casing and feature wireless charging by next year, according to a new report.
The 4.7-inch iPhone will likely be Cupertino’s cheapest offering next year — but the inclusion of a battery that supports wireless charging could be an exciting step for entry-level Apple devices. The rest of the 2017 lineup is also expected to feature wireless charging — and the switch to glass casings will reportedly support that feature, according to a note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which was published on MacRumors.
Additionally, the Taiwan-based Pegatron is expected to be the sole supplier of next year’s 4.7-inch iPhone, along with a wireless charger that’s expected to be included with at least some of 2017’s lineup. That wireless charger is expected to be more widely available by 2018, Kuo predicted.
It’s worth noting that we’re not sure exactly what kind of wireless charging technology that Kuo’s forecast is talking about. It could be traditional wireless charging, or it could be the long-range system Apple is reportedly testing that would allow a device to be wirelessly recharged from a distance. If it’s the latter, it could be a game changer for the entire smartphone industry.
Kuo forecasted that the cheaper 4.7-inch iPhone, and another expected model with a curved OLED display, will drive “potentially unprecedented replacement demand” from smartphone owners. He predicts that Cupertino could sell anywhere from 120 to 150 million new iPhones in the latter half of 2017 — a number that would exceed the sales record currently being held by the iPhone 6.
And while it may seem a bit early to accurately predict what features the new iPhone lineup will have, Kuo’s track record has consistently been exceptional. Additionally, Apple is likely to already be organizing supply chains and developing the 2017 models. For example, Cupertino is reportedly testing 10 different prototypes of its flagship model.
This isn’t Kuo’s first research note concerning the 2017 iPhone, either. Recently, Kuo predicted that the new lineup will include three devices: a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch model, both with LCD displays, and an OLED model of unknown size.
If Apple keeps to tradition, it’s safe to assume that the comapny will announce the next-generation device at a keynote event in September 2017.