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 Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

fitshaced Avatar
72 months ago
No more Jony Ive's "aluMINum"? Thank God.
You mean aluminium. Which is the correct way to say it.
Score: 73 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eneqo Avatar
72 months ago
1500$ iPhone confirmed
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsameds Avatar
72 months ago
No more Jony Ive's "aluMINum"? Thank God.
It's pronounced al-you-min-eum not aloo-min-um
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsameds Avatar
72 months ago
Hopefully the finish on the metal makes it less slippery than the current [s]bar of soap[/s] iPhone
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bluush Avatar
72 months ago
So the big news is we're going back to the iPhone4? Took Apple long enough to realize that was the best design.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Toutou Avatar
72 months ago
No more Jony Ive's "aluMINIum"? Thank God.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
intel go pc justin long

Windows Laptop Makers 'Worried' About New MacBook Air Impacting Sales

Tuesday July 5, 2022 6:57 am PDT by
The upcoming launch of Apple's redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip has some Windows laptop manufacturers "worried" that sales of Intel-based laptops will be negatively affected, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. "A Wintel brand vendor pointed out that at a price point of US$1,000-$1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end notebooks," the report claims, with...
Apple Watch Series 8 What We Know Feature

Apple Watch Series 8 Might Be Able to Tell If You Have a Fever

Sunday July 3, 2022 6:36 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 will be able to tell a wearer if it believes they have a fever due to a higher than normal body temperature thanks to a new built-in sensor, according to Bloomberg's reliable Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature a new body temperature sensor, given that the sensor passes ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
European Commisssion

EU Approves Landmark Legislation to Regulate Apple and Other Big Tech Firms

Tuesday July 5, 2022 5:53 am PDT by
European Union lawmakers have approved landmark legislation to heavily regulate Apple, Google, Meta, and other big tech firms. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) were proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. Now, collected in a "Digital Services Package," the legislation has been formally adopted by the European Parliament and seeks to address...