Apple's iPhone 8 may be the only new iPhone to get the steel body treatment

A supplier report suggests that the alleged iPhone 7S may be stuck with an aluminum body, like its predecessors.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple is rumored to be releasing three new iPhones this year, the premium 10-year anniversary iPhone 8, and the more modestly upgraded iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. One big difference between the 8 and 7S models may be the phone's body. Industry sources say that the iPhone 8 may get the new glass and steel chassis that have been rumored, while the iPhone 7S may stick to an aluminum alloy chassis, reports DigiTimes.

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Some renderings have imagined what a glass and steel iPhone 8 would look like.

Imran Taylor

The iPhone 8 has been said to see big changes like curved OLED screens and an iris scanner and other "wow" features that will set the device apart. But it's also been reported that Apple will be following the usual "S" upgrade that comes every other year by releasing minor upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

By releasing three phones, Apple could flood the market with their iPhone devices and also upsell longtime fans to buy the iPhone 8, which is rumored to cost over $1,000 in the US (converting roughly £800 in the UK or AU$1,300 in Australia) partially thanks to its expensive OLED screen. That would put it in a position to battle Samsung's rumored (and hopefully nonexploding) Note 8, which is often comes in mid-to-late August.

Apple could release the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus as cheaper flagship models. The chassis' build materials would be one way to differentiate the models.

The three iPhone devices are said to come in 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch, and 5.8-inch sizes, according to the report. The 5.8-inch iPhone 8 is believed to get an all-new glass and steel body design, as DigiTimes reported earlier. The 4.7-inch 7S is reported to have an aluminum alloy body, similar to what was used for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6S. The 5.5-inch iPhone 7S Plus has yet to be confirmed by DigiTimes' sources.

Although a glass and steel body iPhone isn't as revolutionary as curved OLED screens -- the iPhone 4 was made out of glass and steel, too, remember -- it does pave the way for some more interesting features like wireless charging.

We're still far away from the usual iPhone announcement season (September), though rumors are furiously flying. Stay tuned to CNET for all the upcoming iPhone 8 rumors here.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

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