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iPhone 8 said to sport stainless steel frame, two glass panels

by Todd Haselton | January 10, 2017January 10, 2017 7:00 am PDT

When Apple launches the iPhone 8 later this year, we might have a design that looks relatively familiar. DigiTimes said on Tuesday that Apple is working with its suppliers to provide stainless steel frames for the iPhone 8. That’s a move away from the aluminum unibody design used by Apple and much of the industry flagship smartphones today.

DigiTimes said Apple plans to sandwich the stainless steel frame with two glass panels, one on either side. That’s very similar to the design we had with the iPhone 4, which also used stainless steel and had glass on the front and back. If you remember, this phone was particularly prone to cracking, no surprise given it had so much glass, so we hope Apple has worked with suppliers to grab even stronger panels.

“Sources from the upstream supply chain pointed out that the cost of the forging process is 30-50% cheaper than the current unibody CNC machine process, while quality control is also more stable,” DigiTimes added, noting that Wistron will join Pegatron and Foxconn in assembling the iPhone 8.

The iPhone 8 needs a fresh look

The report lines up with earlier rumors that also suggested Apple is moving away from the current design, which has been in use for three years since the introduction of the iPhone 6. The glass design may help Apple add bonus features, like wireless charging, which doesn’t work well with aluminum unibody designs. We’ll start to learn more as September approaches.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...