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iPhone 17 could be first to get new thinner & lighter motherboard tech

A motherboard or mainboard (source: Ming-Chi Kuo)

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is looking to use Resin Coated Copper for the motherboard in its 2025 iPhone 17, if the technology can be perfected.

It's already been claimed that the whole iPhone 17 range will have always-on displays, but now there's a rumor about the internal design, too. Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple aims to make its iPhone mainboard using resin coated copper (RCC).

Resin coated copper is a laminate material, and is basically described in the name. It replaces a bonding sheet — the green, grey, or black nonconductive material on existing motherboards — with a deposited resin. Laser ablation is generally used to carve the conductive copper, rather than the technique for conductive filaments on existing boards.

"RCC can reduce the thickness of the mainboard (i.e., it can save internal space) and make the drilling process easier because it's fiberglass-free," he wrote. "However, RCC will not be adopted in the 2024 iPhone 16 due to its fragile characteristics and inability to pass drop tests."

Kuo says the deadline to "improve the RCC material" is 3Q24, when Apple will be committing to its iPhone 17 design.

The benefit of making drilling easier is that it should cut down on manufacturing time, and therefore on cost. But the increased internal space has the potential to mean Apple has more room for new components — or for a very slightly larger battery.