Apple iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max went on sale just last week. However, details of next year’s iPhone have already started appearing online. It is already rumored that Apple is planning a major redesign for iPhone lineup next year. If a new report turns true then one of the changes will involve switching to a new metal frame structure. This metal structure will reportedly be reminiscent of the metal body seen with the iPhone 4.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, writes in a new research note that Apple will use a new metal structure next year. In the research note for TF International Securities seen by MacRumors, Kuo says Apple will change its flagship iPhone design “significantly” next year. It adds that the design will feature a new metal frame with “a more complex segmentation design, new trenching and injection molding procedures, and sapphire or glass cover assembly to protect the trench injection molding structure.”
The switch back to this architecture will mean Apple going back to one of Jony Ive’s iconic iPhone designs. The iPhone 4 introduced the concept of exposed square-edged aluminum casing sandwiched with glass back. The design soon became a new normal among smartphone makers. The change in metallic structure alone does not mean some radical changes are on the cards for 2020. Apple’s current lineup of iPhones use different material depending on the model.
The iPhone 11 uses an aluminum frame that wraps around the rounded corners of the display with an all-glass enclosure. The iPhone 11 Pro uses a stainless steel casing with matte glass back finish. The iPad Pro has a design reminiscent of the iPhone 4 with a metal band running around the sides. The new material choice will also help reduce the negative impact of metal shielding on the high-frequency transmission efficiency of the internal antenna.
Kuo also believes that cost of the metal frame and glass case will rise significantly thanks to the new design. He predicts a maximum increase of 50-60 percent and 40 to 50 percent on metal frame and glass case respectively. The new design is already seen as a major selling point contributing to supplier revenue and profitability. The 2020 iPhone lineup is also expected to bring support for 5G mobile connectivity. Kuo had previously said that 2020 iPhones will come in new sizes, including a 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch OLED models.