Apple may have something special up its sleeve for next year’s iPhone. According to reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Cupertino company is preparing a device with curved glass on its front and back, and a 5.8-inch AMOLED display.
In a note to investors, Kuo said 2017’s iPhone will be a “glass sandwich,” with a design somewhat similar to that of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. The glass on both sides of the device is expected to be curved, just like that on Samsung’s new Galaxy S7 edge.
“The analyst believes Apple is looking to implement exotic materials to further differentiate iPhone from a sea of competitors,” reports AppleInsider.
“Kuo expects Apple to choose glass for its new case design as the material is easy to mold and boasts properties that facilitate thin-and-light form factor designs. Other options include plastic and ceramic.”
This iPhone is also expected to be Apple’s first with an AMOLED display measuring 5.8 inches diagonally — a fairly significant increase over today’s 5.5-inch LCD panel in the iPhone 6s Plus. But it’s not yet clear if this iPhone will succeed the existing Plus lineup.
Kuo says that if Apple can obtain enough AMOLED panels, this device will be sold as the new iPhone Plus. If it cannot secure enough to meet demand, it will be sold alongside the iPhone and iPhone Plus as a more premium model.
If the device does come in 2017, it will presumably be a part of the iPhone 7s lineup. It would be unusual for Apple to introduce a vastly different product during a biannual ‘S’ refresh, which normally delivers incremental improvements in a familiar design.
Apple’s switch to OLED displays for iPhone has been the subject of speculation for many months, but it’s still unclear when the move will happen. While some reports have claimed the first OLED iPhone will launch in 2017, others say we’ll have to wait until 2018.
It seems inevitable the switch will come now, but Apple will need to ensure its partners can produce enough OLED displays to meet the strong demands of its fans.