Just in time for the iPhone’s 10th birthday, Apple is planning a MASSIVE design change — it’s switching from metal to glass

The iPhone 7 is just around the corner. But unlike nearly all solid-number-update iPhones that came before it, the iPhone 7 WILL NOT be a major update over last year’s model, the iPhone 6s.

This means Apple will have used the same chassis design for three years on the trot which has lead most to assume Apple is switching to a three-year re-design cycle; that, or it’s just getting incredibly lazy.

Below are the apparent “confirmed” changes/updates planned for the iPhone 7 (via BGR):

  • Faster, more powerful next-generation Apple processor
  • Thinner housings
  • More attractive antenna lines
  • New 3D Touch home button with haptic feedback
  • At least one new color (recent leaks make it look like it’ll be Space Black)
  • Higher resolution displays (possibly 1080p on the iPhone 7 and 2K on the iPhone 7 Plus/Pro)
  • New 12-megapixel camera on the iPhone 7
  • New dual camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus/Pro
  • Smart Connector for accessories on iPhone 7 Plus/Pro
  • Double the storage, with 32GB, 128GB and 256GB options
  • Improved water- and dust-resistance

As it stands, it is looking more like the former scenario and, adding further weight the assertions, it is also the iPhone’s 10th birthday next year, so it stands to reason that Apple will want to do something special.

But before we get into that: a quick word on rumours, speculation and leaks.

Not so long ago, it was a BIG day when a solid iPhone rumour surfaced. It was big news to get a leak out of Apple’s then-water-tight HQ. But during the past few years, the leaks have started becoming more and more reliable.

We knew what the iPhone 6 would look like before it launched, as well as what many of its new specs and features would be. Ditto for the iPhone 6s’ 3D Touch display, as well as Apple’s plans for TouchID way back in early 2012.

Also, patents we saw years ago are now starting to appear inside phones; things like Samsung’s flexible phones, for instance, and Apple’s plans for migrating the Home key into the actual chassis of the handset, a feature that is expected to be included inside 2017’s iPhone.

Not all of these leaks are correct, but I can’t remember the last launch I attended where I didn’t know pretty much everything about the handset, what it would look like, and what its key new features would be. Yes, there’s always surprises, but the meat and potatoes of any new launch is apparent MONTHS before the handset’s official unveiling. This happens with Apple, with Samsung and with every other major player in the space.

So what will be so special about 2017’s iPhone?

According to sources inside FOXCONN next year’s iPhone will be made entirely out of glass, so you can expect some definite physical changes to how the handset looks. The display will also be an AMOLED panel.

“Foxconn has been trying glass chassis since last year,” reports NIKKEI. “It is only natural that Foxconn is trying to come up with glass chassis as the capabilities to provide more components will bolster its standing within the supply chain and help with more orders,” a second source noted.

Another rumour doing the rounds is that Apple will get rid of the Home key. This is an oldie, but now that the iPhone’s chassis will be made from glass it is starting to look more plausible — TouchID could easily be embedded inside the chassis and activated using Apple’s existing haptic technology seen inside the Apple Watch and new MacBooks.

It is believed Samsung will supply the majority of Apple’s AMOLED panels next year. FOXCONN, however, is said to be keen on developing its own production unit, a move that could be worth billions to the company, as Apple will do all it can to avoid using Samsung-made gear, as evidenced by its switch to TSMC for its SoCs.

What will be interesting is how Apple sells this year’s iPhone. I mean, it kind of feels like common knowledge now that this year’s iPhone will be a bit, err… meh. I know the camera will receive a massive update, but beyond this — save for CPU improvements — I am struggling to see where Apple can add in value?

Millions of units will still be sold, no doubt, but I for one will certainly be holding out for 2017’s iPhone. In the meantime, I’ll make do with Android, as that seems to be where all the innovation is these days.

[Source: Knowyourmobile]