2020 iPhones may feature metal frame similar to iPhone 4

We’ve been hearing about the 2020 iPhone lineup for quite some time, primarily focusing on 5G support. But now we’re starting to hear about overall design decisions.

Legendary analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has come forward to release a new research note, predicting some pretty big changes for Apple’s iPhone lineup next year. MacRumors saw the note this week, which expects Apple is going to make a change to the design of the 2020 iPhones compared to this year’s models. Namely, a return to an even older design.

Kuo believes Apple is going to change the design of next year’s iPhones “significantly”, with handsets that will feature a new metal frame that has “a more complex segmentation design, new trenching and injection molding procedures, and sapphire or glass cover assembly to protect the trench injection molding structure”.

Which will apparently give the 2020 iPhone lineup a look very similar to the iPhone 4:

We predict that the new 2H20 iPhone design will change significantly […] The metal frame and the front and rear 2/2.5D glass are still used, but the metal frame surface will be changed to a similar design to the iPhone 4, replacing the current surface design.

Apple will be aiming to reduce the negative impact of metal shielding on the high-frequency transmission efficiency of the internal antenna, which the new design, with its specific injecting and grooving, should help with.

What’s striking is the cost. Kuo believes that with the design change, Apple will see a significant rise in cost to the metal frame and glass case. The company could see a maximum increase between 50 and 60 percent for the former, and an increase between 40 to 50 percent for the latter.

All that considered, Kuo believes the new design, and the inclusion of 5G connectivity, will significantly boost iPhone sales in 2020, with shipments up to 85 million units next year.

As mentioned above, a lot of the talk about next year’s iPhone lineup has been about 5G. However, there have been design rumors. We’ve heard in the past that the new phones could feature no notch at all. Rumor has it that the new iPhones may also feature both Touch ID and Face ID.

All three iPhone models in 2020 are also expected to feature OLED displays.

What do you think? Would you welcome a return of the iPhone 4 design?