A rumor that’s made the rounds with previous Galaxy S models is rearing its ugly head with the Galaxy S6. What a surprise. Chinese language website Sina.com reports that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) is planning to make the Galaxy S6 its first smartphone with a uni-body metal design.

samsung Galaxy S6 full metal

Samsung to step up to a metal Galaxy G6

G for Games reports that sources within Samsung’s supply chain have said that the company is gradually working toward an all-metal bodied Galaxy S6 gradually. The Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Alpha ultra-premium handset are said to be major milestones on the path. Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy Alpha this week, and it was the very first one to sport a metal frame. However, the backing is still made of plastic.

There have been plenty of rumors about the Galaxy Note 4 possibly having a metal frame as well, so it sounds rather plausible that Samsung sees the two phones as stepping stones to an all-metal bodies Galaxy S6. However, we’ve heard rumors that a metal Galaxy S was next up for years, so it seems pretty questionable that this same rumor has popped up again.

Samsung versus Apple for metal cases

According to G for Games, Eminence Precision Industrial Co. and BYD Electronics will likely be supplying the metal cases for Samsung’s phones. The website adds that there have been reports that major metal case makers in China are able to deliver a total of about 1 million cases every month. The site also suggests that this is why the Galaxy Alpha doesn’t and probably the Galaxy Note 4 won’t have a fully metal case.

As a result, it seems like there’s yet another question about whether Samsung will really be able to make a uni-body metal Galaxy S6. And then there’s the fact that the company is competing with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for metal cases. Apple is the biggest customer for metal case makers right now, and because of supply constraints, there have been reports that suppliers Foxconn, Pegatron and Winstron could increase prices for their other customers if they’re forced to choose their customers.

And if the report that small low-cost smartphone maker Xiaomi is also interested in making an all-metal smartphone is true, then competition for the inadequate supply of metal cases is only going to increase.