The most recent leak about the iPhone 8 (that’s the name we’ll be using until Apple releases the 10th anniversary iPhone this year), Taiwanese suppliers say that Apple is bypassing its long-term partner Foxconn to acquire a forged steel chassis for its 2017 flagship phone, iPhone 8.
The forged steel chassis will be much stronger than the milled steel that’s typically used, the difference being the steel is forced into the chassis mold under extreme pressure.
What this will allow is for a “steel sandwich” design with glass on either side and the chassis in the middle. Apple has used a similar design before on the iPhone 4 and 4S models, but we’re expecting nothing like the older designs for the new smartphones.
The information comes via DigiTimes’ connections with Taiwanese suppliers, and that channel has been known to be mostly accurate. However, as far as we’re concerned it’s still a rumor until there’s some official validation. Jabil Circuit, which will reportedly supply the chassis for Apple’s new smartphones, is already a supplier of technology to Apple.
This move to acquire more parts for the iPhone from Jabil could signal a subtle shift to adding more U.S.-based companies into their supply chain. Jabil Circuit is based out of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Taken along with other leaks and rumors around iPhone 8 as well as two 7S models that could be coming out this year, this looks like Apple’s year to respond in kind to the speculation that iPhone sales have peaked and will never go back to their glory days of 2014 and 2015.
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