Nikkei Asian Review reports that Apple will be shifting to an all-glass design with its iPhone 8 next year, while also reporting that the company will introduce a 5-inch model. In the iPhone history, Apple has used an all-glass design with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s, but decided to switch to aluminum backs with the iPhone 5 through iPhone 7. A 5-inch variant would be an all new option to the lineup, adding to the existing 4.7 and 5.5-inch configurations.
“Apple has tentatively decided that all the 5.5-inch, 5-inch and 4.7-inch models will have glass backs, departing from metal casings adopted by current iPhones, and Biel and Lens are likely to be providing all the glass backs for the new iPhones next year,” the source said.
Having both a 4.7 and 5-inch model in the lineup seems a bit odd. Considering they’re both so similar in size, it is totally possible that the report means that Apple will ditch the 4.7-inch model in favor of a 5-inch variant. This would make most sense as multiple sources report that the company is moving to an all display, bezel-free body for its 2017 iPhone.
In terms of the all-glass design, this also makes sense. KGI has previously reported that the 2017 iPhone will have an all-glass design as well. Their argument is since the Jet Black model is so popular yet so tough to manufacturer, moving to glass would help with the manufacturing process while in return making the color more durable.
While Nikkei reports that the iPhone 8 will come in 4.7, 5, and 5.5-inch configurations, previous reports have also pointed to a possible 5.8-inch model.