iPhone 7 Plus Piano and Dark Black AppleArab concept 001

According to Nikkei Asian Review today, Apple’s 2017 iPhone family (which may be called “iPhone 8” rather than “iPhone 7s”) will include three models, adding a brand new five-inch form factor to the mix. All three models of the iPhone 8 should boast refreshed industrial design.

The overhauled phones would be sandwiched between two pieces of chemically hardened curved glass—like KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in a report to clients.

Both glass backs and cover glass for the iPhone 8 will be supplied by China’s Biel Crystal Manufactory and Lens Technology, an industry source told the publication. The glass front and back will be held together by a brand new metal frame, but Apple is said to have yet make a final decision on the design of the metal frames.

The source was quoted as saying:

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.

Apple’s contract manufacturer Foxconn and its subsidiaries have been working to develop glass backs, according to Nikkei, but Foxconn may be unable to secure orders for the component “because its Chinese rivals have the technological edge”.

“The source said however, that the U.S. tech titan could change its plans for the new backs, given that it ceased production of the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 model bearing a single lens less than six months before launch,“ reads the report.

Nikkei previously claimed that the iPhone 8 family would include a premium 5.5-inch model sporting a curved display using Samsung-made OLED panels while the other two models would stick with the traditional LCD screens.

Today’s report disputes Gabelli & Co. analyst Hendi Susanto and Universal Display executive Darice Liu who speculated that AMOLED display might be limited to a “specialized iPhone 8 edition” until suppliers can meet Apple’s needs for a full rollout.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review