The iPhone SE, which was released in March, is a complete copy of the iPhone 5s because it was a “beloved design.” Apple is apparently working on a new iPhone that will copy another previous generation’s design, but be more of an update than an identical copy. According to KGI Securities analyst, Ming Chi-Kuo, Apple is considering an all-glass design for next year’s iPhone.
The report says that aluminum is no longer viewed as fresh or modern since nearly every smartphone manufacturer is using it in their designs. Comparing the iPhone 6 to the Samsung Galaxy S6, we see that phones look very similar. Apple is working on a new design that will allow their phone to standout from the rest by introducing an updated design similar to the iPhone 4/4S. Next year’s iPhone, according to Kuo, will be switching from an all-aluminum enclosure to one primarily made of glass. The report does not mention how Apple plans to do this, but I foresee a hybrid design of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 4. Perhaps a curved glass display and rear shell that seamlessly transitions to an aluminum band along the outside.
To counteract the heavier weight of the glass, as compared to aluminum, Apple plans to use an AMOLED display. This is thinner, lighter, and allows for better colors as compared to the LCD’s currently used in the iPhone lineup. The Apple Watch uses an AMOLED display which has deeper blacks and richer colors.
It is uncharacteristic for Apple to redesign their iPhone on a typical S-series year. Based on their history, we should see a redesigned iPhone 7 this year and an updated iPhone 7s next year with a few flagship features. Apparently this is being switched since the iPhone 7 will look nearly identical to the iPhone 6s with the exception of less antenna bands and a dual-camera design on the iPhone 7 Plus. The ‘iPhone 7s’, which may or may not be the name, will have a completely overhauled design.