“Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn Technology Group, is developing a glass casing for smartphones as its key client Apple Inc. is said to be revamping the iPhone, people familiar with the developments say,” Debby Wu reports for Nikkei. “”

MacDailyNews Take: There are likely translation issues at work here. Foxconn is not developing a “glass” chassis. If anything, Foxconn is working on reliable methods of producing what Apple has developed and ordered; Foxcon is working on getting to acceptable yields.

“Apple is expected to redesign the iPhone, including giving it a glass chassis,” Wu reports. “‘Foxconn has been trying glass chassis since last year,’ a person with knowledge of the Apple supply chain in Taiwan said. Foxconn is now a key iPhone assembler and a key metal casing supplier for the U.S. company.”

“Whether Foxconn will eventually become a glass casing supplier for Apple remains to be seen,” Wu reports. “The Nikkei Asian Review reported in May that Catcher Chairman Allen Horng said there would only be one iPhone model to use a glass chassis next year, the first official confirmation of Apple’s new design.”

“Apple killed off a premium iPhone 7 model in the second quarter, less than six months before its official launch in September, according to a source. Initially, Apple had planned two versions of iPhone 7 Plus, one with a single lens and one with a dual lens. The single lens edition has since been ditched, the source said,” Wu reports. “‘This never happened before. Before this year, Apple never made changes to iPhone’s product line mere months before the launch. It has been a volatile year for Apple,’ a source said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Glass? As in bulk metallic glass (Liquidmetal) or “glass” as in iPhone 4/4s?

The timeframe would be right for Liquidmetal and the difficulty of preparation for producing acceptable yields would as well (Gorilla Glass-backed iPhone production has long since been been perfected ).

I estimate that Apple will likely spend on the order of $300 million to $500 million — and three to five years — to mature the technology before it can used in large scale. — Dr. Atakan Peker, one of the Caltech researchers who invented Liquidmetal, May 2012

As for the single lens “iPhone 7 Plus” being ditched, as we just asked yesterday, “Our only question is, if these rumors are true, who’s going to buy the iPhone Plus? The pricing of the next-gen iPhone, especially if there are three variants, is going to be crucial for Apple to get right.”

If these rumors are true, obviously Apple asked themselves the same question and had no satisfactory answer.

SEE ALSO:
Why the 2017 iPhone will be made of Liquidmetal – April 18, 2016
Professor behind Liquidmorphium Turing Phone invests in Liquidmetal, named to Board, enters into cross-licensing agreement – March 14, 2016
The Turing Phone is not made out of Liquidmetal – July 15, 2015
Why does Apple keep extending their partnership with Liquidmetal? – June 25, 2015
Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2016 – June 23, 2015
Two new Liquidmetal patent filings from Apple revealed; list watch and jewelry among potential uses – April 23, 2015
Liquidmetal’s Apple alliance yet to bear fruit – September 30, 2014
Apple’s new Liquidmetal-related patent sparks speculation – July 7, 2014
Apple patents method for embedding sapphire displays in LiquidMetal device chassis – May 27, 2014
Liquidmetal-Visser agreement paves the way for more rapid adoption of amorphous metal manufacturing – May 21, 2014
Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2015 – May 21, 2014