What you need to know

  • An analyst research note has suggested the next iPhone could feature a heavily redesigned metal frame.
  • It's purported the metal frame surface will be redesigned to a fashion similar to the iPhone 4.
  • Also claimed that the redesign combined with 5G capability could increase sales by 10 million units.

The iPhone 11 has been about for nearly one whole month, so what better time to start talking about next year's iPhone?

A research note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo via MacRumors has suggested that we should expect to see big changes to the design of the iPhone come next Fall. The "significant" changes focus on the metal frame of the iPhone, which thanks to updated manufacturing processes will bring us a whole new frame design.

Kuo states: We predict that the new 2H20 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.

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Kuo's suggestion is that by grooving the frame, and using injection molding, the impact a metal frame would have on the device's cellular capabilites would be minimised. Hopefully so as to avoid another "You're holding it wrong" fiasco. The research note goes on to suggest that these changes would see the cost of the metal frame and the phone's glass casing rise by around 50%. This would surely be reflected in the overall cost of the phone, and seems like a hugely expensive markup on an already premium product.

Despite the increased cost, Kuo estimates that the improved frame combined with 5G capability in the next iPhone will increase sales by 10 million, up to 85 million in 2020 compared to 75 million in 2019. Of course this is just a rumor, however it's exciting to think about how new manufacturing processes could revolutionise the phones we get to use each year.

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