It is highly anticipated that Apple will release not just the normal two iPhones this year, but three. If all goes according to plan, iPhones for 2017 will include a 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch and 5.8-inch model with the 5.8-inch model expected to be an all-new high-end product which will include a chassis made of reinforced glass with a stainless steel metal frame.
The 4.7-inch device will continue to use an aluminum-alloy chassis, according to sources from the upstream supply chain who spoke with DigiTimes. While, the design for the larger 5.5-inch model has yet to be confirmed by those sources.
As per the sources: “The reinforced glass chassis’ stainless steel metal frame will be supplied by Foxconn Technology and US-based Jabil Circuit, while the aluminum-alloy chassis will be supplied by Catcher Technology.”
This change in chassis and the expected inclusion of an AMOLED display will be part of the reason for an anticipated retail price in excess of $1,000. Some of the design changes which are expected to go into the device will necessitate changes to internal components which will in turn require a higher price in order for Apple to maintain its margins.
Although Casetek, a metal chassis subsidiary of Pegatron Technology, has been aggressively sending engineering samples to Apple and establishing new production bases to prepare for Apple’s orders, the company has so far still not obtained significant orders for the next-generation iPhones.
(Image: iPhone 8 concept by ConceptsiPhone)
While Catcher is not willing to confirm that it is going to be doing work for Apple in 2017, the company was willing to point out that its revenues during the current year will see a significant year-on-year growth. The reason for that was left open, though the possible Apple contract as well as an increase in manufacturing of notebook computers with metal chassis will surely not harm the company’s bottom line.
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