Rumour: Apple to launch major iPhone redesign in 2017

Apple is said to be ready to buck the trend and launch a major iPhone redesign in 2017.

There’s an established pattern for how Apple rolls out its iPhones. Even years see the launch of bold new designs with simple numerical names – so the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPhone 6.

The odd years in between feature so-called ‘S’ releases, which look exactly like their predecessors, but feature updated internals – so the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5S, and iPhone 6S.

We’re on course to see an all new iPhone 7 this year, but KGI Securities analyst and established Apple commentator Ming-Chi Kuo has thrown a spanner in the works.

Over the weekend, Kuo issued a prediction (via MacRumours) that Apple will launch its next radical smartphone overhaul in 2017 – which is when you’d expect to see an iPhone 7S.

Apparently, next year’s iPhone will return to the iPhone 4’s structural design of dual glass surfaces and a metal rim. However, the front will feature a “curved screen and curved glass casing.” We’re picturing a similar effect to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

What’s more, that screen could well be a massive 5.8-inch AMOLED display, with Apple finally switching away from LCD technology. This has been predicted before, but we weren’t expecting it to be so big. Kuo claims that the curved design could actually make the new display look smaller than the existing 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus – again, an effect we’ve seen with the Galaxy S7 Edge.

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Earlier in the month we heard reports from China that Apple was looking to bring its adoption of AMOLED technology forward from 2018 to 2017, so this would seem to fit.

Other new features, according to the analyst, would be wireless charging and “more biometric recognitions (facial or iris).”

Related: iPhone 6S Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Kuo believes that the availability of AMOLED displays will determine how Apple offers this bold new handsets. If it can secure enough panels, then it will be a standard larger option alongside a 4.7-inch LCD model.

If supplies are limited, though, it could end up being a third high-end option alongside a more standard 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD range.


Does this mean that we’re looking at a more conservative model launch this year? Would you be happy with that? Let us know in the comments.