[Image above] Credit: MacDX1; Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The latest version of new technology is sure to generate speculation, rumors, even dreams.
And the Apple iPhone is no exception—instead it probably leads the way in generating tech speculation. There are whole websites dedicated to tracking the latest rumors for each specific device iteration.
While the rumors are already swirling around the next iPhone release, the iPhone 7 due out later this year, the real materials rumors seem to lie with the iPhone 8—due for release in 2017.
One of the most reliable Apple trend analysts, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, predicts that next year’s iPhone iteration will say sayonara to its metal casing. Kuo is somewhat of a trusted Apple-predicting guru—a (more serious) Miss Cleo of the tech world.
According to Forbes, Kuo predicts that the iPhone 8 will replace its aluminum chassis with an all-glass enclosure.
A mostly-glass iPhone is possible, and according to the article, could improve wireless reception and wireless charging.
The iPhone 4 actually donned a glass back (remember that?), but its glass wasn’t strengthened—so it cracked much more easily, leading Apple to turn to aluminum instead.
Advances in strengthened glass since then means that, for example, a Gorilla Glass-backed iPhone could be much more resistant to both scratching and shattering.
In addition to a sleek glass body, next year’s iPhone iteration seems poised to switch from its current LCD display screen to an AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display instead—something the competition already employs. This change actually informs the previous one, according to some experts.
In comparison to LCD screens, AMOLED screens use less power and have better contrast ratios, and would provide Apple with a thinner and lighter screen. According to an article on TechNewsWorld, “AMOLED would let Apple ‘do something interesting with wraparound displays, and therefore, a glass material will give them flexibility in creating continuous curves on the back.’”
Flexibility in glass? You bet. Innovations and advancements in manufacturing glass that is thinner and stronger than ever would easily allow Apple to develop a new curved iPhone that has strong glass bent around all the right angles.
And with Corning’s new ability to print designs directly on Gorilla Glass, the iPhone 8 might be the most personalizable smartphone yet.
Earlier leaks from Kuo, reported on The Motley Fool, have been consistent, suggesting that an upcoming iPhone’s metal back casing would get nixed for plastic, glass, or ceramic materials instead.
But analysts can’t be right all the time. Kuo might fall short on the iPhone 8—maybe ceramics will win instead.