iPhone 8 could be a glass-and-steel sandwich

Your next iPhone could have an all-glass front and back, according to a report.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read
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Who doesn't love a good sandwich, especially when it concerns the next Apple iPhone? The rumored iPhone 8 could have an all-glass front and back surrounding a steel frame center, according to a report by Taiwanese news site Digitimes.

Monday marked the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, and while there's no doubt that the iconic device redefined the smartphone game, it'll be crucial for Apple's long-term success if the company's forthcoming iPhone can pull ahead of Google, whose voice assistant and Pixel phone challenge Apple on every front, and surpass the iPhone on many.

3.5-inch screen

The iPhone 4 used glass and steel, but could the iPhone 8 do it better?

Luke Westaway/CNET

This most recent iPhone 8 rumor says that Apple manufacturers Foxconn and Jabil are building the phone's body with two reinforced glass panes -- one for the front and one for the back -- according to the Digitimes report. The two glass panels are then said to be held together by a stainless steel frame.

Current iPhones, like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6S, use a single piece of aluminum for the body and backing, and Digitimes' sources claim that using a steel frame could cost Apple 30 to 50 percent less while also giving the company better quality control. The bezels on the side are also reported to be steel.

If true, Apple's return to the stainless-steel frame would echo its iPhone 4, which was also sourced from Foxconn and Jabil, according to Digitimes.

While a glass backing is more breakable than metal, it can transmit signal better than metal, an important point that supports the rumor that the iPhone 8 will have wireless charging. The phone's home button function could also incorporate directly into the display.

Catch all the iPhone 8 rumors here.

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