Taiwanese website Digitimes report that Apple will be sourcing the stainless steel casing for the upcoming iPhone 8 from Jabil, and not its usual manufacturing partner Foxconn. The report further adds credence to reports about Apple switching to a new glass design with a stainless steel chassis.
Apple had last used a stainless steel chassis with the iPhone 4 first, which was marred with poor reception issues (remember antennagate, anyone?).
The next-generation iPhone is expected to abandon its conventional aluminum back cover design and will adopt a new design using two reinforced glass panes and a metal frame in the middle. The metal bezel will be made of stainless steel using a forging process to enhance its sturdiness and reduce costs and manufacturing time.
Apple will reportedly use a metal forging method for the chassis instead of the billet milling method which is commonly found in many Android phones currently available in the market. The new forging process is cheaper by at least 30-50 percent compared to the current CNC machining process that Apple employs on the series 7000 aluminium used on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7.
Additionally, the report claims that to keep up with the demand, Apple has added a Wistron as a new assembler for the upcoming iPhones. This is in addition to Foxconn and Pegatron which already assemble iPhones for Apple.
Apple ended up using the same design language for the iPhone 7 as the iPhone 6 that it had first debuted in 2014. For the iPhone 8 though, the company is all set to debut a new design language that will see it going back to using an all-glass design sandwiching a stainless steel chassis. Apple is also expected to make use of curved OLED screen and introduce wireless charging to the iPhone lineup this year.