Apple is planning to launch next year's flagship iPhone in 4.7-, 5-, and 5.5-inch sizes, and will likely use glass backs for all three, a Japanese report claimed on Wednesday.
The company could still go back to the metal casings used on current iPhones, a source explained to Nikkei Asian Review, calling Apple's position on glass "tentative." The person added that Apple likewise decided to drop production of a single-lens 5.5-inch iPhone 7 just six months before the iPhone 7 Plus debuted in September.
Both the front and back glass will allegedly be supplied by Biel and Lens. The phone should still make some use of metal, namely a frame holding both sides together.
Foxconn and its subsidiaries have reportedly been working on glass backs, but are expected to lose out for technological reasons. That could impact the company's bottom line, since it also makes metal casings for the iPhone SE and iPhone 7 Plus, sharing regular iPhone 7 casing orders with Catcher and Jabil. Foxconn is, however, Apple's main assembly partner on the iPhone.
The 2017 iPhone is widely expected to be a major redesign. Nikkei has indicated that while the 5.5-inch model will have a curved OLED display, much like Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge, the two smaller models may stick to the LTPS technology used on the iPhone 7.