Here’s a new twist on this fall’s iPhone lineup: The iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will reportedly have a glass back, too, just like the rumored iPhone 8.
Apple’s long standing pattern has been to revise the overall design of the iPhone every two generations, and since last year’s iPhone 7 introduced a new look the presumption has been that this year’s iPhone 7s would stick with that cycle. The phone’s overall look was expected to remain the same while internal components, like the processor and cameras, got upgrades.
Based on a report from Apple’s parts supply chain, however, that’s not the case. This year’s new iPhones will come with an aluminum frame and glass front and back, they say.
The report comes courtesy of supply chain sources speaking with DigiTimes. They’re basing the information on component orders, which isn’t necessarily a clear indication of Apple’s plans. Since supply chain sources have extremely limited information about Apple’s product plans they typically have to offer up what they share with a healthy dose of skepticism.
That said, the idea of a significantly redesigned iPhone lineup following the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is interesting. We’ve been expecting a completely new model this fall in the form of the iPhone 8, but the idea of a complete refresh for the rest of the lineup is new.
The iPhone 8 is expected to sport an OLED display that’s about the same size as the 5.5-inch screen in the iPhone 7 Plus, but in a body that’s only slightly larger than the iPhone 7. The screen will run nearly edge-to-edge on the phone’s face with a virtual Home button and Touch ID sensors embedded in the glass.
The new model will also include a glass back with wireless charging support, a more powerful A-series processor, and front-facing camera with 3D sensors.
If Apple is giving the iPhone 8 a glass back, it’s possible the company is doing the same for the other models it releases this year. If Apple is going down that path, that fits with tossing the usual refresh cycle out the window—which we’re already seeing because the iPhone 8 is a premium phone launching along side the typical annual upgrade.
We’ve already seen several big product announcements this week at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference event in San Jose. Based on what we’re hearing now it looks like several more are in store for this year.