Aside from a completely new form factor, Apple’s 2017 iPhone—a device that will reportedly be called the iPhone 8—will also employ some interesting new materials. According to a new research report from reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple plans to use a glass casing on its next-gen iPhone model.
Kuo’s report, per MacRumors, adds that the iPhone 8’s glass casing will be strengthened by a stainless steel frame, at least on the higher-end models.
Metal frame can be stainless steel or aluminum, with former more likely for high-end models. As all-glass casing is not possible at present given technological bottlenecks, a metal frame surrounding the edge is necessary for reinforced structure design. As stainless steel has a better look than aluminum and costs more, we expect only high-end new iPhone models to come with a stainless steel frame next year.
While Apple has used glass casings on the iPhone before, it hasn't done so since the iPhone 4s was released back in 2011.
In addition to new materials, the entirety of the iPhone 8 will likely be something to marvel at. From what we've gleaned from the rumor mill so far, Apple's 2017 iPhone will feature an edge-to-edge screen that will make the entire device appear to be a single sheet of glass. Aside from that, it's also rumored that the iPhone 8 will see Apple incorporate a slightly curved OLED display.