Next year could see Apple further differentiating its iPhone lineup by bringing stainless steel edges to strictly the high-end models of a new iPhone adopting a glass chassis. That’s judging from a research note written by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and obtained by AppleInsider.
Kuo predicts that, while the front and back of both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhone models launching next year will sport a scratch-resistant glass finish, the material used for the edges could differ between models. While low-end models could get familiar aluminum for those edges, stainless steel frames could be reserved for high-end iPhones due to the material’s greater costliness.
An iPhone with all-glass casing will have to wait; Kuo writes that it’s currently beyond practicality, as “a metal frame surrounding the edge is necessary for reinforced structure design”. The glass element of the casing, however, would remain appealing to customers, as it would provide a glossy look akin to that of the popular Jet Black iPhones without the same vulnerability to scratches.
In March, Kuo reported that wireless charging and further biometric recognition technology, possibly including iris recognition, were likely to arrive with next year’s iPhone generation. He also suggested that a 5.8-inch iPhone could, should AMOLED display production sufficiently hold up, replace the 5.5-inch model – but Kuo has seemingly not given an update on whether this is still part of Apple’s plans.