According to a report recently published by Taiwan based news website Digitimes, this year’s upcoming iPhone 8 could be equipped with a full glass front and rear side flanking a center frame made of metal. This latest rumor speculates that Foxconn and Jabil, both manufacturing partners of Apple, are currently busy with the production of the iPhone 8’s body, which reportedly requires a couple of reinforced glass panels for the front side and the rear side, respectively. Holding together the twin glass panes is a frame fashioned from stainless steel.
The last two existing iPhone models -- last year’s iPhone 7 and 2015’s iPhone 6s -- make full use of one frame made of aluminum. This frame already holds the body as well as the rear cover together. But this style may not be the most efficient approach to building the smartphone, at least when compared to the rumored stainless steel frame (plus, the bezels on the side are also said to be made of steel), which could cost Apple about 30 percent to 50 percent less. Moreover, going for a stainless steel frame would allow the tech giant to exercise better quality control.
As for the all-glass design, it is worth noting that glass actually allows better transmission of signals, at least when compared to metal. While it is true that glass may be more vulnerable compared to metal, specifically in terms of durability (due to the fact that glass is brittle), improving signal transmission quality is worth the risk, especially when one is trying to optimize wireless capabilities for features such as wireless charging, something that Apple is rumored to be considering for its iPhone 8 device.
If this report from Digitimes turns out to be true, then it would mean that Apple would be returning to a previous earlier design. Some may remember that for the iPhone 4, the company actually went for a stainless steel frame. Incidentally, Apple also had Foxconn and Jabil as manufacturing partners for the iPhone 4.
And it is not like people did not see this coming. Back in May of last year, it was reported that a head official of one of Apple’s major manufacturing partners offered an educated guess that the latest iPhone model will most likely feature casings made of glass material. As mentioned earlier, Apple had gone for glass rear covers for its iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s models back in 2010 and 2011, respectively. It was in 2012 when Apple started going for metal casings when it released the iPhone 5, and since then, all succeeding iPhone models followed this design.
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