Apple Supply Partner Says Glass iPhone Set to Arrive in 2017

Apple is moving forward with plans to change its iPhone casing from metal to glass next year, says Catcher Technology CEO Allen Horng. Catcher is a Taiwanese metal casing maker and a key player in Apple’s current iPhone supply chain.

According to a report from Nikkei, and citing a statement provided by Catcher Technology CEO Allen Horng, Apple plans on releasing at least one iPhone model in 2017 that will feature a glass design. Catcher Technology is one of many Apple supply partners, in this case focusing on casing for Apple’s flagship devices.

Horng states that next year, Apple will shift to a glass iPhone, but that, as far as he knows, it will be only one model that sees the change in design philosophy:
“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.”
It’s a statement that can’t help but raise questions all on its own, though. Apple has switched to a two iPhone release ever since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus saw the light of day. Expectations are that Apple will continue that this year, with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Based on Horng’s statements, then, one might ask if Apple is planning on differentiating its Plus (or Pro, if that naming change happens this year) model only, and leaving the non-Plus/Pro unit, which would probably still feature a 4.7-inch display, with an aluminum unibody design, like we’ve seen from Apple in the recent past.

Either way, this report does line up with a previous analyst’s expectations. In April of this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a note saying that he expects Apple to release an all-glass iPhone in 2017, with the design meant to help Apple stand out amongst all the other smartphones on the market now using aluminum frames. Indeed, Kuo has also stated that he believes Apple could launch a variety of iPhones in 2017, some with glass designs and others with aluminum bodies.

So what do you think ?



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