Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has released a new report further forecasting that the 2017 iPhone will likely adopt and glass front and back design like the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. The idea seems to be that the new Jet Black iPhone 7 has proved highly popular with customers due to the appeal of its glossy finish, and glass would make it much less scratch prone; Apple has recommended customers use a case with the glossy aluminum model to avoid ‘micro abrasions’ from general usage.
Specifically, KGI says its pre-order checks show that “30-35% and 45- 50% of pre-orders around the world and in China” have opted for the Jet Black iPhone 7 models which has been tough to purchase due to inventory constraints. If Apple does follow through with what KGI suggests, an all glass design could extend the glossy finish to all colors of the iPhone lineup depending on how Apple handles the design (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s was only available in black or white).
The report also points to the use of ‘2.5D glass’ over so called ‘3D glass’ with the difference being the curvature of the cut. KGI suggests 2.5D would lead to a more durable glass design that withstand drops compared to 3D rounded glass. The report also points to low yield rates of the Jet Black iPhone 7 as reason to return to all glass. Customers prefer the glossy finish, but it’s difficult to manufacture in large quantities at the rate Apple needs.
Finally, KGI forecasts that the new iPhone models next year will rely on either a stainless steel or aluminum metal casing with higher end models likely to use stainless steel. This could again call back to the design of the iPhone 4 era but with a new effort to push customers to higher end models using differences in the metal.
KGI has previously forecasted that next year’s iPhone models will return to an all-glass design with today’s report emphasizing the likelihood based on further evidence. The firm has also predicted that the iPhone 4-like design could introduce a larger 5.8-inches model, possibly thanks to reduced bezel size. You may recall that the iPhone 4 design was limited to 3.5-inches models; current iPhones are sized at 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches.