Forget the iPhone 7 -- Next year's iPhone may have a major redesign with a bigger, better screen

The most accurate Apple analyst in the world shared his thoughts about what Apple might be planning for the iPhone coming out in 2017 in a note published over the weekend.

Next year’s iPhone sounds like a major redesign, if the report is correct. Here’s what KGI Securities’ Ming Chi Kuo sources tell him is coming from the iPhone in 2017, according to reports:

  • The 2017 iPhone will have glass casing on the front and back, with metal sides sort of like the iPhone 4. It’s a “completely new form factor,” according to Kuo.
  • It will feature a new, 5.8-inch AMOLED display. AMOLED is a new screen technology that offers deeper blacks than the iPhone’s current LCD display.
  • However, despite the larger screen, the 2017 iPhone might be smaller than the current iPhone 6S Plus, which would mean Apple would cut down its historically large bezels.
  • The rumoured 2017 device might replace the “plus” models, depending on supply. Otherwise it could become the most premium iPhone model.
  • It will include wireless charging. The wireless charging is another reason why Apple might opt for a glass body over metal or plastic designs.
  • It will include some sort of biometric recognition — possibly face and iris scanning. (Apple purchased facial recognition startup Emotient last year.)

Kuo’s report is interesting for a number of reasons. If true, it suggests that Apple might be abandoning the “tick-tock” schedule of iPhone upgrades it’s kept for the past six years. The iPhone 7 is coming out later this year — here’s what we expect — but Kuo is not describing an slightly upgraded “iPhone 7S,” which is the model you’d expect Apple to launch in 2017.

Kuo is also suggesting that Apple may be radically changing the iPhone’s design in 2017. iPhones today sport two large, symmetric bezels at the top and bottom of their screens. If Apple wants to fit a bigger screen onto the same-sized device, it will have to shrink them.

The Taiwan-based Kuo is more accurate than most Apple rumormongers. In previous analyst notes, he has nailed Apple product details, launch information, and even pricing and naming. Still — these details are rumours, not confirmed product plans, so they are liable to change as Apple’s plans firm up.

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