Ming-Chi Kuo: next iPhones will get a more scratch-resistant glass body, stainless steel frame & more


Widely regarded as the authority on the subject of future Apple products, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has today revealed a few details on what he expects for 2017's iPhones. In a research note obtained by AppleInsider, Kuo suggests that next year's handsets will get a long-awaited design overhaul complete with a toughened glass front and back, along with more robust, stainless steel edges. 

While Apple's iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have been generally well received, reports have indicated that early uptake may have slowed versus the 6s duo. Kuo's suggestion earlier this year that the iPhone 7 wouldn't have many "attractive selling points" was probably a slight exaggeration, but there's no getting away from the fact that iPhone's design language hasn't changed for three years now. 

We heard this week that work on the so-called iPhone 8 is already underway, and Kuo's insight aligns with the rumored "radical redesign". The notion of all-glass iPhone is not entirely new, and Kuo adds that such a finish will offer better protection against scratches than the current build. The new Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus provides a glossy finish that has proven a popular choice, but it's very susceptible to abrasions.

Kuo's note adds that a strictly all-glass housing won't be possible due to "technological bottlenecks" and as such, will be accompanied by a metal frame. Apparently, Apple will ditch aluminum in favor of a more robust, stainless steel outer edge for "high-end models". This will cost more, but give the top-tier iPhones a sturdy, premium finish. Kuo also expects both the 4.7 and 5.5-inch upcoming models to feature the glass chassis, but only the top-end version(s) will be supported by the steel frame. It remains to be seen whether "high-end" means pricier Plus models as with the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus, or perhaps the oft-rumored "Pro" model. 

Separate rumors have indicated that each could deploy OLED display tech, among other promising enhancements. Given that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are still brand new, it's probably going to be a while before we see evidence of these endeavors. Nevertheless, if Kuo's suggestions prove to be accurate, those holding off the iPhone 7 in hope of a next-gen redesign could get their wish in 2017. 

FEATURED VIDEO

45 Comments

1. gregrichards

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 26, 2016

Looking forward to seeing how it looks and what specs it has. I'd like to see even better screens, great wireless charging and removal of the home button.Hopefully we won't be disappointed given the hype it is being given.

2. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Agreed on every point. Also, I'd love to see fast charging.

6. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 147; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Fast charging is detrimental to battery longevity. Android users generally don't keep their phones as long as iPhone users, cos their phones are not designed with more than two year durability in mind whereas iPhones are expected to last for years, still so many iPhone 4's in the wild for example, but you wud be hard pressed to even find Galaxy S3 right now.

12. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Lol, keep trying to convince yourself of your own BS. There are plenty of iPhone 4's out there because the poorer iFans (who think they're rich because they some how got an iPhone on contract) can't afford a higher priced iPhone. Whereas in the Android side of things, you can pick up a number of newly released modern, great phones for less than $200 outright. Kicks ass to be in an ecosystem where the consumer isn't the subjugated bitch.

42. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

iPhone 4 might still be reliable than explosive Samsung phones for sure..

14. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Well, you're kinda right about The iPhone 4S...! A friend of mine just gave his youngest child (In 6th grade, I think) his worn out 4S and according to him his kid couldn't be more happier...! But then again, that kid previously had an ancient Nokia so even The iPhone Original would be a huge upgrade for him...! In any case, Kuo is mostly right about the leaks! His "forecasts" turned out to be quite true so he's a reliable source, I guess... So... DON'T WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED CASH ON THE 7... G'Day!

17. sissy246

Posts: 7064; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Bull s**t I know 2 people that have had their s3 since day one and still love it, 1 person with my sons old s4 and love it and said they will use it tell it dies. The cheap Samsung phones my not last that long but the high end Samsung's will last just as long as a iphone.

22. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yes and no. Most fast charging options only charge fast up to around 80% or so. Which doesn't stress the battery that much. Charging your phone up to 100% (and letting it go down to

23. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

it keeps breaking my comment, not sure why but the rest: down to under 10%) is far worse and people still do that and keep their phones for a longer time. Especially the S3 which has a changeable battery, makes people keeping it longer. I still see them (and other older Android phones) at work and in my private circles

24. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Seems you can't use the smaller than symbol or it will break your comment.

30. AlikMalix unregistered

Testing the smaller than symbol > comment continue. Testing the larger than symbol < comment continues. Nope... works fine.

33. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Weird, I typed (and letting it go down

34. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I typed < 10 % without the spaces and it cut off

35. AlikMalix unregistered

Testing10%. If you see this text you should read some other post, this one is boring.

36. AlikMalix unregistered

Wow it just erased the top of my comment in comment # 35 (there was more there). and it removed the > sign from the second part between testing and 10%. Weird, but at least it's not just u. (Using ios10, iPhone 6s).

46. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I think it's the comment editor interpreting certain combinations as html code, screwing up the rest of the text. I was typing on a PC, so my guess it's universal.

37. iC-118

Posts: 260; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

Iphone users are poor and dumbass idiots. They can't afford 2 new phones every year. Android is technology. every 6 month features and specs arises. Where's in Apple camp. suddenly the fruit logo is classes as prestige. lmfao. All these years Apple was selling from 80s. And after the first iphone, owning an iPhone is know classed as cool and rich. Rotflmfao.... lmfao.

38. AlikMalix unregistered

Omg, you are so right on that.

40. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

The way you typed this out gave me ass cancer.......do you even know what "lmfao" means?

13. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well the way Apple is going right now and usually how the rumors go, you can forget about all but the "removal" list. So they'll probably take away the home button, might switch to AMOLED, keep everything else the same, and call it a revolution.

4. asirfaysal

Posts: 98; Member since: Jul 19, 2016

iphone edge (copied from samsung)

5. bucky

Posts: 3775; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

You mean like the 4s?

8. NoAllegiance unregistered

4S, does not have dual edge display, just a glass back.

9. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You missed the joke.......

16. bucky

Posts: 3775; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

If you want to talk about a curved edge the iPhone has had that for a while. Not sure why nobody mentions it ever but the edge on the 6 and 7 is curved to make use of the swipe gestures. Samsung has more of an edge but this is nothing to the iPhone either- just not as many software tricks to it. I see no use other than looks for an edge screen until a manufacturer proves otherwise.

28. tedkord

Posts: 17289; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Nobody mentions it because Android phones have had it longer. 2D glass of the iPhone came out after several Android phones had it.

7. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 147; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

iPhone 4 reincarnated. SS frame is heavy though, that's why iPhone 4 was heavy, barring glass cracks, the frame was super sturdy though.

21. Kumar123 unregistered

I love your username. For your username alone I'll give you a green thumbs and a +1.

10. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 147; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Also gr8 thing about this glass sandwich and SS frame is that you can use your phone naked. Looking forward to having caseless phone again, like the days of iPhone 4. Aluminum is a very soft metal, dents and scratches easily.

29. tedkord

Posts: 17289; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And, apparently, bends easily, too.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.