Supply-chain sources support reports of premium iPhone model, claim steel vs aluminum differentiator


A new supply-chain report supports existing reports of a three-model line-up for this year’s iPhones, including a premium model squeezing a 5.8-inch screen into the same external dimensions as a new 5.5-inch one. Previous rumors have suggested that only this top-end device would get the iPhone 8 name, while the two other models would be labelled the 7s and 7s Plus.

But the latest report claims to have one new piece of information …

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The varyingly reliable Digitimes claims that the 4.7-inch model will use the same aluminum-alloy chassis as the iPhone 7, while the top-end 5.8-inch device will have the long-rumored reinforced glass and stainless steel design. The report has no information on the 5.5-inch model.

The reinforced glass chassis’ stainless steel metal frame will be supplied by Foxconn Technology and US-based Jabil Circuit, while the aluminum-alloy chassis will be supplied by Catcher Technology.

Digitimes supports this by noting that Catcher has announced that it expects to see significant year-on-year revenue growth in 2017.

Rumors are increasingly pointing to a top-end 5.8-inch OLED model which is almost bezel-free, allowing it to match the external size of a more conventional 5.5-inch model. The new model also looks set to get significantly greater battery-capacity, though it’s unclear whether this will result in longer battery-life or be consumed by the larger display and other enhancements.

Apple is also working on various ways to embed a fingerprint reader into an iPhone display, though is also said to be working on an iris scanner.

As ever, you can keep up to date with all our iPhone 8 stories in our guide.

Image: iPhone 8 concept via @VenyaGeskin1

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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