Apple’s iPhone is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and rumors about the next model suggest it could be in for some major redesigns, including a return to the use of a steel frame and a new wireless charging capability. The Home button on the iPhone 8 could also be integrated directly into the phone’s main display, which may be an OLED.
The leaks coming out of the Apple supply chain hint that the device manufacturer may be considering a new housing design for the next generation of the iPhone, consisting of a steel frame sandwiched between a glass front and back. That would harken back to the iPhone 4 and 4s, which used a similar design. The current crop of iPhone models features a single aluminum body with a glass front.
Lots of Advantages to Steel
There are a couple reasons that the company might want to make the switch from aluminum body to steel frame. For one, a forged steel chassis could reduce manufacturing costs for the body by up to 50 percent. Making the back out of glass instead of aluminum or steel could potentially improve the device’s signal transmission.
The new design could also be a lot more robust than the current one, particularly if the company goes with Corning’s Gorilla glass for the front and back. Aluminum isn’t the strongest material in the world, and a steel frame might make it less likely that future models will warp when carried in hip pockets.
A glass backing could also make it possible for Apple to introduce wireless charging in the new model. The aluminum backing in the iPhone 7 (pictured above) makes wireless charging difficult. Wireless charging could be a huge deal for the iPhone line, which has long suffered from a reputation of poor battery life compared to its Android competitors.
New OLED Display
This year’s model may also feature improved resistance to water and dust, according to the rumors. The current model is rated as being able to survive under up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The iPhone 8 could see the depth increased to a meter and a half. That would make it about as water resistant as the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Apple is also rumored to be looking at using waterproof tape instead of adhesives to achieve the improved water resistance, which should also make it easier to conduct repairs on the device.
Improved water resistance may not be the only thing the new iPhone has in common with its Samsung competitor. Apple is also rumored to be using an organic LED, or OLED, display from Samsung for its 5.8-inch model. OLEDs have several advantages over standard LED displays, including lighter weight and greater flexibility -- major considerations for the mobile phone market.
OLED displays are also usually more energy efficient than their LED counterparts, which could help the next generation of iPhones improve on battery life.
Image credit: Product shots by Apple.
Posted: 2017-01-15 @ 1:10pm PT
New iPhone will be nothing new! I think new Xiaomi will eat it!