iPhone 8 To Feature 2.5D Glass, Stainless Steel Frame: Analyst

The iPhone 8 is still about a year away, but it hasn’t stopped analysts and the rumor mill from providing details on what it would look like. Earlier this week, an Apple employee in Israel told Business Insider that the 2017 device – which is being developed at Apple’s Herzliya facility – will indeed be called iPhone 8. On Thursday, one of the world’s most respected Apple analysts, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, shed light on what the new iPhone would look like in a research note to investors.

Only high-end iPhone 8 to have stainless steel

Kuo pointed out that the Jet Black model with high-gloss finish was the most popular version of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, accounting for up to 35% of total sales. That’s despite the fact that Jet Black was limited to only more expensive 128GB and 256GB models. Also, consumers are aware that the Jet Black model is prone to scratches. The iPhone 8 is expected to sport an entirely new design to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Apple’s iconic product.

Given the immense popularity of the Jet Black model, Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the iPhone 8 will have a glass casing. It will have the same glossy finish, but glass is more scratch-resistant and durable than the metal casing. However, an all-glass casing is not possible due to technological bottlenecks. A metal frame surrounding the edge is needed for reinforced structure design.

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Kuo says stainless steel would give a better look than aluminum, but it’s more expensive. So, said the analyst, the stainless steel frame will be limited to only the high-end version of the iPhone 8.

Why would Apple switch to a ‘2.5D glass’?

KGI Securities added that Apple was considering switching from “3D glass” to “2.5D glass” on the iPhone 8. A 2.5D glass is more durable and scratch-resistant than the 3D rounded glass due to the curvature of the cut. The switch to a glass casing should also help the Cupertino company avoid inventory issues that plagued the Jet Black iPhone 7 rollout.

The iPhone 8 is rumored to feature an edge-to-edge OLED display, wireless charging, and retina scanner. The home button, FaceTime camera, TouchID, and other sensors will be embedded in the display itself.