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Apple may bring back the metal casing for a 2018 iPhone

This would be a departure from the new glass backing of the iPhone X and iPhone 8.

Although Apple introduced a glass backing for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, the company may be taking a step back for the 2018 iPhone. Apple is reportedly working on a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone with a metal casing, according to Nikkei Asian Review. This design choice could give the future iPhone a body that's more like the iPhone 7's than the iPhone 8's.

Kuo predicts that next year's iPhone lineup could look something like this.


The report goes on to say that Apple could release three new iPhones next year: a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, a 5.8-inch OLED version and a 6.3-inch OLED iPhone. Of the three possible variations, the report only mentions that the 6.1-inch model could get the metal backing.

This mirrors earlier rumors from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claimed Apple may release three iPhones in 2018. He proposed that although the three iPhones may get the same full-screen design as the iPhone X, only two would get the X's OLED display, while the third might stick to an LCD display. Kuo's prediction was that the two OLED iPhones could serve as the new iPhone and iPhone Plus models, while the LCD device may act as a more affordable option.

But what's up with the metal casing? From the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 7, Apple's phones have sported a piece of metal as their rear casings, but the iPhone 8 and iPhone X changed things up by using a glass backing. This move was seen as an attempt to facilitate wireless charging, a new feature for the 2017 iPhones. If the 2018 iPhone switches back to a metal casing, the potential for wireless charging is unclear.

On the other hand, one benefit of a metal backing is durability. Drop tests have shown that the glass backing on the iPhone X is especially susceptible to cracks. Add the fact that the iPhone X is costly to repair without AppleCare and you have an expensive accident just waiting to happen.

Does the idea of a cheaper metal LCD iPhone interest you? Or are premium features like OLED screens and wireless charging the reason you buy new iPhones?

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Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.

[Via MacRumors]