iPhone 8 rumours: stainless steel frame, all glass front and back

The iPhone 8 is rumoured to have flat stainless steel sides like the iPhone 4.
The iPhone 8 is rumoured to have flat stainless steel sides like the iPhone 4.

It may still be months away, but speculations about Apple's iPhone 8 are sweeping the internet.

The latest rumor came from an "upstream supply chain" that suggests the Cupertino company is ditching the aluminium back cover.

Instead, it will be designed with a stainless steel forging process that brings together two reinforced glass panels supported by a metal frame.

The latest rumor was first reported by Chinese newspaper DigiTimes, which revealed the new components would be ordered from Foxconn electronics US-based Jabil - firms who worked with Apple in creating the iPhone 4, reports 9To5Mac.

"The metal bezel will be made of stainless steel using a forging process to enhance its sturdiness and reduce costs and manufacturing time," reports DigiTimes.

Other than giving the iPhone 8 a sleeker design, this move will ensure the glass panels in the front and back hold together.

And it should decrease costs by 30 per cent to 50 per cent.

Using stainless steel could send the iPhone 8 back in time, as this metal alloy was originally used on the iPhone 4 variants.

However, it would also mean that this will be one of Apple's strongest smartphones yet.

This speculation is consistent with a major rumor - the iPhone could feature a curved OLED, which lets Apple include an edge-to-edge screen.

Aside from the rumors regarding the iPhone 8's body design, Apple received a new patent that also points to an edge-to-edge screen.

The patent, titled 'Electronic devices having displays with openings' describes a method that places electronic components - such as cameras and speakers - underneath the screen.

According to AppleInsider, the openings on the screen would be so small they would be "imperceptible to the human eye" - resulting in a "true edge-to-edge screen".

This setup would also make it possible to add in various sensors inside of the phone that could transmit information across the display.

"An electronic component may be mounted in alignment with the one or more openings in the display," reads the patent filed in February 2015.

"Signals associated with the electronic component may pass through the openings.

"The signals may include acoustic signals, electromagnetic signals such as radio-frequency electromagnetic signals, and light.

"The electronic component may be a structure that uses light such as a camera, a light sensor, a light-based proximity sensor, a status indicator light, a light-based touch sensor array, or a secondary display that has display pixels that may be viewed through the openings."

Apple could be moving forward with this design, as the firm is up against other smartphone makers to design the thinnest and compact smartphone.

And the best way to do this is to remove all of the features from the outer areas and hide them underneath the screen.

Just a month after the iPhone 7 hit the market, rumors began circulating about what to expect in 2017.

One of these speculations was the handset could feature an all-glass casing.

Experts say that the transition from metal to glass casing is key if Apple is to introduce a wireless charging feature in its next iPhone. The rumours were obtained by MacRumours, and come from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities.

Mr Kuo is uncertain whether a wireless charger will be bundled with all new iPhones, but is convinced that the feature will appear in the iPhone 8.

A metal alloy phone casing could potentially cause wireless charging speeds to be reduced, which is why a glass chassis could be used instead.

iOS users may have also heard that there could be three iPhone 8 smartphones to choose from this year - oppose to the traditional two Apple releases every year.

According to Nikkei, there will be one premium model with a curved edge-to-edge OLED display alongside two models that have standard LCD displays. Citing a supply chain source, Nikkei says Apple will release the three iPhones in the following sizes: 5.5 inches, 5 inches, and 4.7 inches.

"Apple has tentatively decided that all the 5.5-inch, 5-inch and 4.7-inch models will have glass backs, departing from metal casings adopted by current iPhones, and Biel and Lens are likely to be providing all the glass backs for the new iPhones next year," the source said.

All three iPhone 8 models will use glass supplied by Biel Crystal Manufactory and Lens Technology in China for both the front and back.

However, these rumors say all three of them will be held together with an aluminum frame.

- Daily Mail

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