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Apple to Forge 'iPhone 8' Chassis Frame From Stainless Steel Instead of Aluminum

Apple is expected to adopt a forged stainless steel crafting process for its glass-encased "iPhone 8", rather than use traditional aluminum CNC machining.

Taiwanese sources from the upstream supply chain apparently confirmed the transition on Tuesday, according to DigiTimes, with component orders expected to be shared between Foxconn and U.S.-based Jabil.

iphoneconceptimage
Edge-to-edge iPhone concept image via ConceptsiPhone
The next-generation iPhone is expected to abandon its conventional aluminum back cover design and will adopt a new design using two reinforced glass panes and a metal frame in the middle. The metal bezel will be made of stainless steel using a forging process to enhance its sturdiness and reduce costs and manufacturing time.
The stainless steel process was last used by Apple in the iPhone 4s handset, which encased a "glass sandwich" chassis in two CNC-machined steel bands. However, every succeeding iPhone iteration has used aluminum because the alloy offers heightened structural rigidity while remaining relatively lightweight.

Supply chain sources said the cost of the forging process is between 30 percent and 50 percent cheaper than the current unibody CNC machine process, while quality control is also more stable. Despite the switch, Apple is expected to continue outsourcing orders for internal structural parts to Catcher Technology and Casetek, because the stainless steel bezel will require further refinement using traditional CNC machining.

Today's report supports recent rumors indicating at least one model of iPhone this year will have a redesigned all-glass body with a steel frame housing an edge-to-edge, curved OLED display. Jony Ive has wanted to introduce an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass for several years, and glass is also necessary if Apple wants to introduce wireless charging. If an edge-to-edge display does feature, the home button and Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be embedded in the display.

Apple is said to be planning to position the OLED iPhone 8 as a "Premium" model that will perhaps be sold alongside standard flat display 4.7, 5, and 5.5-inch iPhone models, but details relating to size, configurations, and materials used remain sketchy.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tag: digitimes.com


Top Rated Comments

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7 weeks ago

No more Jony Ive's "aluMINum"? Thank God.

You mean aluminium. Which is the correct way to say it.
Rating: 73 Votes
7 weeks ago
1500$ iPhone confirmed
Rating: 48 Votes
7 weeks ago

No more Jony Ive's "aluMINum"? Thank God.


It's pronounced al-you-min-eum not aloo-min-um
Rating: 40 Votes
7 weeks ago
Hopefully the finish on the metal makes it less slippery than the current [s]bar of soap[/s] iPhone
Rating: 31 Votes
7 weeks ago
So the big news is we're going back to the iPhone4? Took Apple long enough to realize that was the best design.
Rating: 26 Votes
7 weeks ago
No more Jony Ive's "aluMINIum"? Thank God.
Rating: 24 Votes
7 weeks ago
Sounds nice, but I would like a 4" version too...
Rating: 16 Votes
7 weeks ago
When I hear "premium" iPhone, i don't know if it makes me laugh or just mad.

What kind of "snobs" are you? The iPhone is a premium phone. Period. Just because the internals don't match that, doesn't mean 1000 $/€ for a phone is adequate. I love my iPhone but I definitely won't pay 1200 or 1500 bucks for it. Are you out of your mind? For a phone that looks nice but that you have to put in a case because otherwise your precious toy goes to waste real fast?

iPhone is premium. An even higher priced iPhone that costs less than 300 $ in production is simply that, an even higher priced iPhone. Nothing premium about it. Just even more expensive.
Rating: 15 Votes
7 weeks ago
I really don't like the idea of an additional premium model.
isn't iPhone already premium?

this should be how the new iPhone is ,not just limited to one additional model.

the idea of the nicer,better model being even more expensive and unaffordable to many is really depressing.

there should be only 2 varients : plus and standard,and both should feature OLED screen and redesign body etc.
Rating: 13 Votes
7 weeks ago

It's pronounced al-you-min-eum not aloo-min-um

It was the Brits who changed their pronunciation to that.

It all began, apparently, when an indecisive British chemist by the name of Sir Humphrey Davy in fact coined the now archaic word "alumium" in 1808. However, referring to the element in his 1812 book Elements of Chemical Philosophy, he would use the word "aluminum", much as Americans do today.

It was British scientists of the time, however, that decided, with a beautiful level of verbosity, that: “Aluminium, for so we shall take the liberty of writing the word, in preference to aluminum, which has a less classical sound.”

Rating: 13 Votes

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