The 2019 iPhones are out, so let’s start speculating about the 2020 iPhones. Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities says next-year’s iPhones will include a new metal frame structure, similar to that of the iPhone 4.
In a research not, Kuo says Apple will change its 2020 flagship iPhone design “significantly.” He says the new handsets will feature a new metal frame with “a more complex segmentation design, new trenching and injection molding procedures, and sapphire or glass cover assembly to protect the trench injection molding structure.”
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.
The iPhone 4, designed by former Apple design head Jony Ive, was the first smartphone to be constructed with an aluminum frame sandwiched between two layers of hardened glass. That style of design has since been copied by numerous smartphone makers.
Kuo says the the grooving and injecting of the metal in next year’s iPhone frame will reduce the negative impact of metal shielding on the high-frequency transmission efficiency of the internal antenna. He says the use of sapphire or another type of tempered glass will protect the structure of the device.
Due to the design change, Kuo says the cost of the metal frame and glass case will rise significantly, possibly as much as 50-60% and 40-50%, respectively.
Kuo also predicts the new design will prove to be a major selling point, alongside 5G support. He believes it could increase Apple’s smartphone shipments to 85 million units in 2020, compared to 75 million new iPhones shipped in 2019.