The iPhone 4 and 4s deployed a profile that comprised mostly glass, right the way up until the iPhone 5 brought a metallic aesthetic. According to Kuo, Apple may revert back to a similar material utilized by some of its earlier efforts. He believes that Apple is also toying with the idea of plastic or ceramic, but foresees the firm eventually settling on glass.
This would be quite the u-turn from Apple given that a metal finish has adorned every iPhone since 2012, bar the plasticky iPhone 5c. Kuo believes the 2017 iPhone will have a glass front and back with a metal outer edge akin to the iPhone 4/4s, though the form factor and design will apparently be "completely new." As far as the display goes, Kuo offers the notion of Apple incorporating an AMOLED panel with at least one of the 2017's models.
This idea of AMOLED arriving so soon to the iPhone line-up somewhat counters Kuo's earlier predictions that Apple would wait until 2019 or later to dabble in the alternative display tech. The analyst believes that Apple may introduce a new 5.8-inch iPhone next year with AMOLED -- a device that will supposedly replace the current 5.5-inch model. It's unclear if the standard 4.7-inch iPhone will also be seeing this new panel, or whether the larger model effectively be used as a guinea pig.
The big changes don't end there, either. Next year's models could also include wireless charging along with biometric recognition tech (think face or iris-scanning). It goes without saying that such features been prevalent in the Android space for a number of years. But while the iPhone line has still continued to sell high numbers without these aspects, the counter-argument would be that Apple's famed smartphone brand has become a little stale -- a point difficult to refute given the iPhone SE's not-so-new design.
Whilst Kuo is highly regarded in Apple rumor circles and has a great track record, it's worth remembering that these tidbits relate to products that likely won't see the light of day for another 18 months. With such a while to go, there's a good chance that even if the new info is accurate for now, it could well be subject to change.
Still, do you think Apple would be right to revert to a glass housing and roll with an AMOLED display next year? Let us know below!