Apple plans to rethink the iPhone according to one of the most reliable Apple tipsters, but not until 2017.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued guidance that Apple is looking for ways to set the iPhone apart from rivals and that its answer will be an 'all glass' iPhone 8 with an AMOLED screen in 2017.
Yes, that's right, next year.
That means this year's iPhone 7 could be the last in the lineage of aluminium iPhones and Apple is about to break away from its traditional release pattern.
Normally we'd expect a big redesign this year and an 's' release to follow in 2017, but early signs suggest that this year's effort won't be such a big departure, sharing a similar shape and materials with the iPhone 6.
If true, it's unlikely to give iPhone sales the boost Apple wants, hence this predicted move to a glass design next year.
As Ming-Chi Kuo explains via Mac Rumors:
"If iPhone 7 still uses an aluminum casing in 2016, it will be the fifth year in a row that iPhone has done so, which means there is no longer a feeling of freshness to appeal to consumers. Also, a lot of Apple’s (US) competitors are also adopting aluminum casings, which means iPhone no longer has a clear edge due to a lack of differentiation. On expectations that iPhone shipments will decline in 2016, we believe Apple will be more strongly motivated to use non-aluminum casings in 2017 in a bid to enhance the competitiveness of iPhone by offering an all-new form-factor design."
Related: iPhone 8
The analyst goes on to explain that a move to an all glass design and an AMOLED screen would give the iPhone something new to talk about.
Ordinarily we'd dismiss such predictions out of hand, but Ming-Chi Kuo has an enviable track record. Few, if any, analysts are as consistently correct about Apple's future plans, lending more credence to this report than usual.
Of course, such a drastic change would make next year's effort more like an iPhone 8 than an iPhone 7s, though perhaps Apple will come up with a new name – iPhone Pro anyone?
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Whatever Apple chooses for the name, evidence is mounting that changes are afoot in 2017 – this is the second time AMOLED has been tipped for an iPhone next year, iPhone 8 or otherwise.
So, if you were planning on upgrading to an iPhone 7 this year, perhaps you'd be better of waiting.