Earlier this year, rumors started circulating that Apple would switch to a glass design for the 2017 iPhone lineup, somewhat reminiscent of that of the iPhone 4. Now Carter Technology chief executive Allen Horng says that only one model of the 2017 iPhone lineup will adopt that glass design. Carter Technology is a key iPhone casing supplier.
As noted by Nikkei Asian Review, Horng told reporters today that as far as he knows, only one iPhone model will adopt glass casing next year. He also noted, however, that the glass design will still feature a metal frame around the edges, much like the iPhone 4 did. This contradicts some earlier reports that said the 2017 iPhone would feature an all-glass design.
Ultimately, Horng doesn’t expect that the glass iPhone redesign will have an impact on Carter Technology’s revenue because of the metal frame, which he says requires a more complex processing technology.
“As far as I know, only one [iPhone] model will adopt glass casing next year,” Horng told reporters after the annual shareholder meeting on Thursday. “I don’t think this move will have an impact on Catcher’s revenue as glass casing still needs a durable metal frame which requires advanced processing technology and would not be cheaper than the current model.”
While there have been some reports that Apple is actually planning to ditch Carter Technology for China’s Biel Crystal Manufactory and Lens Technology, which provides glass screen covers for the iPhone, Horng didn’t comment on those rumors.
KGI reported in March that Apple would entirely revamp its iPhone lineup with a glass design and AMOLED display in 2017. He also predicted that Apple will adopt a curved display and curved glass body. Last month, he noted that the design would be all-glass, with Apple choosing to drop the albumin design amid worries that it would look dated. At the time, many wondered how Apple would construct an all-glass design, but if today’s report is true, then it won’t actually be an all-glass design.
It’s interesting that Horng says the glass design will be adopted on just one iPhone model. It could be that Apple reserves the build for the higher-end ‘Plus’ or ‘Pro’ models, but if that’s true, it’s unclear what would come of the 4.7-inch model.
Obviously a lot could change over the next year and a half until the iPhone 8, or whatever it is called, is unveiled, but there seems to be a general agreement that the device will feature a glass design in some form.