The iPhone 8 is widely expected to feature an all-glass look when it comes out next year, with only a metal frame tying the front and back together. Now a new research note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo attempts to shed some light on one of the reasons why Apple is doing so.
As per Kuo, Apple wants to make the switch from metal to glass in order to support wireless charging. The former material isn’t as effective as the latter when it comes to absorbing wireless frequencies, limiting the rate at which it takes place.
Pegatron is apparently the exclusive supplier for the wireless charger. Apple is supposedly offloading the development to an outside firm so that the hardware goes through extensive testing before it hits production. Hon Hai is another possible candidate for the job, but Kuo thinks it’s currently deploying most of its resources into manufacturing the OLED iPhone.
Kuo doesn’t know for certain whether or not all iPhone 8 models will be bundled with a wireless charger. However, he does expect production to kickstart at an introductory level in 2017 before going full blast in 2018.
Other than the wireless technology, Kuo also expects Pegatron to win a share of OLED iPhone 8 orders in 2017. It’s also expected to be the only supplier of the 4.7-inch LCD iPhone 8. A separate note also sees the analyst predicting that mass production for the handsets will begin in the third quarter of 2017.
He’s also optimistic about sales, calculating shipments to be around 90 to 110 million, up from 75 million. The OLED iPhone 8 will probably account for 50% to 55% of all orders, the 4.7-inch LCD one for 30% to 35%, and the 5.5-inch LCD variant for 10% to 15%.