Kuo: Next year’s iPhone to look similar to the iPhone 4 as part of significant chassis redesign

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today reports that the 2020 iPhone lineup will feature a redesigned chassis that is a big departure from the current status quo of curved stainless sides (via MacRumors).

Kuo says the new design will be reminiscent to the iPhone 4’s industrial design. We’ve already seen Apple attempt a boxier look with the 2018 iPad Pro.

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A previous report from Ming-Chi Kuo already hinted at a big redesign in 2020, with Apple apparently readying new screen sizes.

In June, Kuo said that the new 2020 iPhones will feature 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch displays. The entire lineup is expected to feature OLED screens, a departure from the two-OLED, one-LCD range we see in iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11.

After three years of the same iPhone X series design, the 2020 iPhone will be the first external redesign for Apple’s flagship smartphone in a while.

The iPhone 4 continues to be a beloved design, so it will be interesting to see a modern interpretation of an iPhone with squared-off edges.

Kuo appears to believe that the display glass will continue to be slightly curved, with references to 2/2.5D glass in the report. The current iPhone design blends the glass with the stainless steel sides in a continuous curve. The iPhone 4 was more like a metal and glass sandwich, so it’s not immediately clear how Apple would combine curved screen glass with straight edges.

The redesigned iPhones are expected to debut in the fall of 2020, featuring 5G and improved augmented reality features alongside the new exterior chassis design. Apple acquired Intel’s cellular modem division to help accelerate the development of its own custom in-house cellular modems, but they won’t be ready for a while. For 2020, Apple will use 5G modems manufactured by Qualcomm.

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Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.