More evidence of all-glass iPhone next year as Foxconn develops glass casing

A pair of KGI reports in March and April suggested that Apple would be switching back from aluminum to glass iPhone casings in 2017, and this is now backed by a Nikkei story today.

Foxconn Technology Group is developing a glass casing for smartphones as its key client Apple Inc. is said to be revamping the iPhone, people familiar with the developments say. Apple is expected to redesign the iPhone, including giving it a glass chassis, in 2017.

Nikkei source said that Foxconn had been working on developing a glass chassis since last year, though an earlier report made the unlikely-sounding claim that only one iPhone model would make the switch to an all-glass casing …

The piece also repeats the widespread expectation that Apple will upgrade the display technology used in iPhones from LCD to OLED.

A poll we ran in May suggested that readers favor glass over metal casings for future iPhones, though by a relatively low margin of 52% against 45%. Apple’s last glass-cased iPhone was the iPhone 4/4s, which had a glass back with stainless steel band around the edge. With the possibility of a curved screen next year, it may be that Apple will be able to abandon metal altogether.

The relatively minor design refresh we’re expecting to see in this year’s iPhone 7 lends weight to the idea that Apple will want to ring in some major changes in next year’s model.

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