Kuo: 2020 iPhone will borrow from iPhone 4 metal frame design

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2020
The 2020 iPhone could use a new metal frame for its chassis, a research note from famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims, one that could borrow some of the design ideas first presented in the iPhone 4 nine years ago.




Next year's iPhone, widely believed to include 5G connectivity among other features, could also include a major design change that alters how the iPhone is constructed. The investor note from TF International Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo describes the change as "significant," and will be a major selling point for the smartphone.

The design will include a 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." Kuo goes on to claim the "metal frame and 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 famous Jony Ive design for the iPhone 4 consisted of an aluminum frame around the edge of the iPhone, with glass to the front and the rear. MacRumors reports that grooving and injecting of the metal into the frame will lessen the negative impact of metal shielding on the internal antenna, which would affect its ability to transmit high-frequency radio signals, such as 5G.

Due to the changes, Kuo believes the cost of construction will increase for the metal frame by between 50 and 60%, while the glass case cost will go up between 40 and 50%. If tempered glass is used for the grooved cover, the metal middle frame and chassis cost could go up by 25 to 35% and 20 to 30% respectively.

According to Kuo's predictions, the new design will help improve supplier revenue and profitability, and could help increase shipments to 85 million units in 2020, 10 million more than the 75 million reckoned to happen in 2019.

The design will only be one part of a number of changes incoming in the new model, according to Kuo. The analyst previously advised of three iPhones arriving for that year, with all three set to include 5G connectivity.

Kuo also predicts the use of VCSEL rangefinders, time-of-flight sensors that offer both photo quality and augmented reality applications. There is also the suggestion of a smaller TrueDepth camera notch for the 2020 model, and a full-screen display for 2021.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,958member
    The iPhone 4 design was one of the best IMO. Might be different on a larger format device so some rounding on the edges might be in order.

    Either way the current design is stale so a change is necessary. However, changes that dramatically increase the cost of manufacturing don't sound so good.
    airnerdrinosaurleftoverbacon
  • Reply 2 of 32
    The iPhone 4 was one of the most beautiful looking phones.    Interesting rumor
    airnerdmike54spice-boywatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 3 of 32
    Back to this design, yes. I personally would love this. I’m not a fan of the round, slippery edges. More internal space as well. 
    airnerdmike54spice-boycornchipleftoverbaconwatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 4 of 32
    Does Apple knows what Mr. Kuo talking about ? iPhone 4 frame was definitely great design but larger frame current iphones too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    From time to time I charge up my 4s just for kicks. It is an elegant piece. My first iPhone. Then I just put it back in the drawer.
    muthuk_vanalingamairnerdmike54leftoverbaconwatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 6 of 32
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,808member
    avon b7 said:
    The iPhone 4 design was one of the best IMO. Might be different on a larger format device so some rounding on the edges might be in order.

    Either way the current design is stale so a change is necessary. However, changes that dramatically increase the cost of manufacturing don't sound so good.
    Boy, we've gone full circle couple of times.
    iPhone 4/4S/5/5S design is stale. Apple needs a change.
    iPhone 6/6S/7/8 design is stale. Apple needs a change.
    iPhone X/XS11Pro design is stale. Apple needs a change.

    With the screen taking up the entire front of the phone, there's not really much room for design variations.

    king editor the grateStrangeDayscornchiplollivertmaywatto_cobrah2pargonaut
  • Reply 7 of 32
    If next year would be iPhone 4/4S design that will be super and I hope they would make it the same thickness too.

    leftoverbacon
  • Reply 8 of 32
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,958member
    mike1 said:
    avon b7 said:
    The iPhone 4 design was one of the best IMO. Might be different on a larger format device so some rounding on the edges might be in order.

    Either way the current design is stale so a change is necessary. However, changes that dramatically increase the cost of manufacturing don't sound so good.
    Boy, we've gone full circle couple of times.
    iPhone 4/4S/5/5S design is stale. Apple needs a change.
    iPhone 6/6S/7/8 design is stale. Apple needs a change.
    iPhone X/XS11Pro design is stale. Apple needs a change.

    With the screen taking up the entire front of the phone, there's not really much room for design variations.

    You are right but that doesn't mean there is no room for change. There is.

    That is why are seeing all kinds of colours, finish, textures and lens arrangements.

    The current iPhone designs are more than stale but at least come with some basic colour options. Better than nothing but if change is coming next year, it's because the current design is past its prime.

    As for the cycle of change. That can change too. Just like Apple moved from one phone a year, to two and now three.

    It's true that phones will eventually become buttonless, full screen slabs but we aren't there yet and even the iPhone 11 is unmistakable at a glance (but unfortunately for the wrong reasons).
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Just switched from iPhone X to iPhone 11. I am in love with the form fact, the size, and the weight, and the beautifully done camera bump. I cannot come up with any idea to improve it further. I also like the weird characters the notch/horn brings to the table. Perfect iPhone. Next year for iPhone 12, I wish they continue improve the camera like adding a third lens etc.
    StrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member
    The iPhone 4/4S outer frame was stainless steel not aluminum! And it was overall Apple’s best iPhone design to date, with the iPhone 5 series a very close second. Just slim it down and elongate it to have a contemporary design for the ‘modern’ age, so to speak. Really looking forward to the 2020 iPhones, and I haven’t been for a few years now. I’m still hoping for 2020 that Apple can eliminate the notch completely. But unlikely unfortunately. 
    edited September 2019 fastasleep
  • Reply 11 of 32
    The iPhone 4 was the Porsche 911 of iPhones. 

    The notch is gonna be around for a long time folks.
    MisterKitleftoverbacon
  • Reply 12 of 32
    jccjcc Posts: 301member
    I’m more partial to the 5 design. Imagine the iPad Pro shrunk down to iPhone proportions. It would be a sweet design.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,027member
    mike1 said:
    avon b7 said:
    The iPhone 4 design was one of the best IMO. Might be different on a larger format device so some rounding on the edges might be in order.

    Either way the current design is stale so a change is necessary. However, changes that dramatically increase the cost of manufacturing don't sound so good.
    Boy, we've gone full circle couple of times.
    iPhone 4/4S/5/5S design is stale. Apple needs a change.
    iPhone 6/6S/7/8 design is stale. Apple needs a change.
    iPhone X/XS11Pro design is stale. Apple needs a change.

    With the screen taking up the entire front of the phone, there's not really much room for design variations.

    Yes, over time new things become old, paving the way for something new that ....

    Well I think you might get it now.  
  • Reply 14 of 32
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    So ... SE 2?  ;)
    cornchipleftoverbaconwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 32
    avon b7 said:
    The iPhone 4 design was one of the best IMO. Might be different on a larger format device so some rounding on the edges might be in order.

    Either way the current design is stale so a change is necessary. However, changes that dramatically increase the cost of manufacturing don't sound so good.
    When has "manufacturing cost" affected any of Apple product development? They always push the envelop on new manufacturing and turning prototype production into mass manufacturing processes. Latest example is the the machined glass on the iPhone11. If they worried about cost your iPhone would have a plastic body with a plastic screen...
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 32
    The only time I see what my iPhone looks like is when I am switching out my favorite cases, so it doesn’t matter what color or shape the phone is to me. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    I believe the iPhone 4 is still the best looking and most user friendly design. You can easily pick it up from a flat surface, and it's 90% less likely to slip when using, I guess it's iPhone 12 for me. (slip statistic may vary with user). 
    MisterKitleftoverbacon
  • Reply 18 of 32
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,958member
    gutengel said:
    avon b7 said:
    The iPhone 4 design was one of the best IMO. Might be different on a larger format device so some rounding on the edges might be in order.

    Either way the current design is stale so a change is necessary. However, changes that dramatically increase the cost of manufacturing don't sound so good.
    When has "manufacturing cost" affected any of Apple product development? They always push the envelop on new manufacturing and turning prototype production into mass manufacturing processes. Latest example is the the machined glass on the iPhone11. If they worried about cost your iPhone would have a plastic body with a plastic screen...
    It depends on if the cost impacts the final price of the handset by pushing it up further.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    It was iOS 9 that bricked the 4s.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 32
    SE is still the sweet spot.  For a phone.  

    For a pocket computer / cinema camera  not so much. 


    cornchipleftoverbaconwatto_cobra
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