Next year Apple will present redesigned iPhones that boast a new metal structure reminiscent of the iPhone 4, according to a research note from Apple Ming-Chi Kuo analyst and seen by MacRumors.
In his research note with TF International Securities, Kuo states that Apple will change its flagship iPhone design ” significantly ” next year. In particular, the new devices will be characterized by a new metal frame.
We expect the new iPhone 2020 design will change significantly. The metal frame and the front and rear 2 / 2.5D glass will still be used, but the surface of the metal frame will be changed to a design similar to the iPhone 4, replacing the current surface design.
The design of Jony Ive for iPhone 4 was the first to introduce the concept of an aluminium frame with exposed squared edges inserted between two reinforced glasses, a design that has been variously copied in the smartphone industry.
The Apple iPhone has undergone several changes since, with the latest iPhone 11 using an aluminium frame that wraps around the rounded corners of a display housed in an all-glass case, and iPhone 11 Pro devices share a glass material matt enclosed in a strong stainless steel frame. In particular, Apple has adopted a different design for the iPad Pro, which has a more industrial band on the sides that also resembles the iPhone 4.
Kuo believes that grooving and injecting metal into the iPhone’s chassis next year will reduce the negative impact of metal shielding on the high-frequency transmission efficiency of the internal antenna, while the use of sapphire or tempered glass on the groove will serve to protect the injection-moulded structure.
Following the design change coming up in the iPhone 2020, Kuo believes that the cost of the metal frame and glass case will increase significantly, with a maximum increase of 50-60% and 40-50 %, respectively. If the grooved cover is made of tempered glass, Kuo sees the cost of the central frame and metal frame increase by approximately 25–35% and 20-30% respectively.
The report predicts that the new design will be a major selling point that will contribute to supplier revenue and profitability and, combined with 5G support, will increase Apple’s smartphone shipments to 85 million units by 2020, compared to 75 million. new iPhone shipments in 2019.
In a previous note, Kuo said that iPhone 2020s will be available in new dimensions. Two of the phones will also be equipped with a 3D time-of-flight camera that will support augmented reality and improve the camera experience.
Kuo also said that all three iPhones next year will support 5G networks, for which Apple will use Qualcomm’s 5G modem. Despite the acquisition of the Intel chip modem business, Apple will not use its base band until the iPhone 2022 is launched. Instead, Kuo believes that Apple will first test its products in a new Apple Watch and other future devices.