Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s 2017 iPhone to feature new ‘all glass’ enclosure

“In a new report by KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, the reliable Apple analyst claims that the iPhone will be seeing a major redesign in 2017, dropping the iconic aluminum casing for an all-glass enclosure with AMOLED screen,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac.

“It does not seem like the iPhone 7 for 2016 will be seeing such a major overhaul, breaking Apple’s tick-tock pattern of a significant chassis redesign every other generation,” Mayo reports. “Kuo does not elaborate on how Apple will make the next iPhone entirely out of glass, so currently the specifics of the drastic redesign will have to be left to the imagination.”

“The new glass phone will also feature a new AMOLED display panel, which will be thinner and lighter to compensate for the slight weight increase of glass compared with metal exteriors,” Mayo reports. “It definitely seems like Apple is saving a major new iPhone form factor for 2017, which leaves Apple’s 2016 iPhone 7 refresh somewhat in question. Leaks to date have shown very modest changes for the iPhone 7, with a design largely the same as the existing iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is the end of the stupid iPhone “S” model years finally in sight? Let’s hope so!

As we wrote on Tuesday:

Apple should strive to execute annual iPhone updates, in three display sizes if the SE is successful (which we think it will be), and drop the off-year “S” model concept. Apple is certainly big enough and rich enough to do a new iPhone family each and every year. Apple should have killed the tock year “S” model idea years ago.

What’s happened with iPhone is painfully obvious: Apple was at least a year (more likely two years) late with properly-sized iPhones. When iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus finally, blessedly materialized, buyers quite literally stampeded to get them. Then, when faced with such a “tough compare” this year, Apple was still sticking with their ill-conceived “S” model concept – making the tough compare much, much tougher.

The “iPhone 7” family – three models with the same case design and all with 3D Touch — comprised of the 4-inch iPhone 7 SE, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus — should have debuted last September. That would have taken care of the current tough compare with iPhone 6/Plus. Then, this year, the iPhone 8 family, again with a new case design, but now waterproof, with dual cameras, etc. would debut this September. In 2017, perhaps Liquidmetal and AMOLED will be ready go for the iPhone 9. Etcetera. No more “S” years, Apple. Duh.

Had Apple done as we’ve just described, they’d have sold millions more iPhone units this year and millions upon millions more each year going forward.

Apple’s raison d’être is to delight customers. “S” model “tock” year iPhones do not delight customers in the same way as new “tick” year models. Obviously. They’re still the best smartphones on the planet, but they’re just okay. A bit of a meh. We all know that “S” models exist so Apple can wring out nice margins from existing designs and tooling, not expressly to delight customers. When Apple strays from its main goal is when things get wobbly. Just delight customers, Apple, and the world will beat a path to your door.

If we didn’t work for MacDailyNews, we’d have skipped the iPhone 6s Plus and held onto our iPhone 6 Plus units with no qualms – and we’re the most rabid Day One iPhone buyers you’ll ever find.

Why have an annual iPhone upgrade program, if you’re not going to wow us annually with new iPhones?

Ming-Chi Kuo: 2016 Apple Watch will be internal ‘s’ upgrade, major design changes to wait until 2017 – April 11, 2016
Where the iPhone SE fits in Apple’s iPhone lineup – March 10, 2016
Why Apple’s ‘iPhone SE’ should have had 3D Touch – March 10, 2016
KGI: Apple to release new 4-inch iPhone in early 2016; A9-powered, but no 3D Touch – November 4, 2015
No more ‘S’ models, Tim! Apple needs to launch all new iPhones every year – December 10, 2015


  1. Wow, KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo sure is reliable! I wonder where he gets his insight!

    Oh! From an Apple patent article published A YEAR AGO. Specifically, March 1, 2015:

    iPhone 7 Transparent Glass?

    Apple has patented a transparent glass iPhone 7. Currently difficult to imagine a real benefit from the device with a curved screen.The main reason for this may be unreliable device, consisting entirely of curved display, but in the future it is, these devices can be especially popular.

    Today the Bureau of Patents and Trademark Office has issued several U.S. patents Apple and one of them describes the ability to create iPhone with curved body made ​​of transparent glass. The core of this device lies AMOLED-flexible display and a housing which is made of a transparent or translucent protective glass. Instead physical side buttons are used touch that will allow them to customize the layout….

    So that’s how he does it! Golly. 😛

  2. I think all of these rumours are highly suspect. I can’t believe that Apple won’t have a major upgrade for this Septembers iPhone 7. With falling sales of the 6/6S series they’d better have something good to encourage upgrades this year, never mind 2018.

  3. Still have my iPhone 6 Plus and still delighted with it. Waiting for iPhone 7 as rational mortals should if they had the 6 Plus already. I prefer the upgrade delights that occur after a 2 year wait rather than more marginal ones. I realize some others prefer to experience every model upgrade so different strokes. I agree Apple should’ve unified the iPhone line release date. Ditto on similar technology in their iPad Pro line with mostly just size the only differentiation in the future. I’m sure at some point all this stuff will catch up together.

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