Next year’s iPhones will feature metal frames, similar to the iPhone 4, according to reports.
A new research note from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple will introduce a significantly overhauled design in 2020, with a new metal frame featuring a “more complex segmentation design, new trenching and injection molding procedures, and sapphire or glass cover assembly to protect the trench injection molding structure”.
“We predict that the new 2020 iPhone design will change significantly. The metal frame and the front and rear 2/2.5D glass are still used, but the metal frame surface will be changed to a similar design to the iPhone 4, replacing the current surface design,” Kuo’s report added.
Apple’s iPhone 4 was the first smartphone to introduce an exposed aluminum frame, the brainchild of former Apple designer John Ive.
It’s considered one of the most iconic iPhone designs in its history and has been copied by many other smartphone manufacturers.
The iPhone SE, another popular iPhone model, also sports the same aluminum-edged design.
The iPhone has undergone several major design changes since the iPhone 4, and the most recent iPhone 11 uses an aluminum frame wrapped around the display’s corners, encased in glass.
The iPad Pro, on the other hand, features a look that’s similar to the iPhone 4.
According to Kuo, the new design changes will mean that the cost of the materials required will climb by up to 60%, which could have an impact on iPhone sales.
However, Kuo’s report suggests that the new design will be perhaps the biggest selling point of the new iPhone, alongside 5G support, which will help Apple sell 85 million iPhone units by the end of 2020.
Kuo has already suggested that Apple will introduce new sizes next year, including 5.4 and 6.7-inch high-end iPhones with OLED displays and a 6.1-inch model with an OLED display.
What’s more, the two premium iPhones are expected to feature a time-of-flight 3D camera.
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