We've seen several recent reports from KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, a man with an impeccable track record when it comes to accurate Apple and iPhone leaks and predictions, and he has repeatedly stated that 2016's iPhone 7 will be an incremental update - one that won't impress too many customers, he claims.
Next year's model, however, is a whole different ball-game, in fact the likely reason the iPhone 7 won't see major updates is because they're all being reserved for the 2017 model - no-one knows what it will be called yet, it is reasonable to assume iPhone 7s, however, Kuo's predictions suggest that the iPhone revamp will be a massive overhaul to such an extent that we can't rule out some kind of re-branding excercise. Not to mention the emergence of the iPhone SE and Apple's "Pro" brand which is already apparently superseding the old iPad Air and could come to a new dual-camera iPhone model this September.
Anyway, the 2017 iPhone, according to Kuo, will be made primarily from glass, including curved glass bodywork designed to replicate the shape of the iPhone 4s. This claim has been repeated several times, and now an industry insider has made comments which go some way to supporting the idea.
Catcher Technology is an Apple supplier, a firm which builds smartphone bodies and has made them for previous iPhone models where it has created the metal components, but now the company's chairman and CEO, Allen Horng, has commented on the glass body rumours. Nikkei reports that Horng said "as far as I know, only one model will adopt glass casing next year," in response to questions regarding the 2017 iPhone. This could mean that the contemporary iPhone Plus or iPhone Pro model will retain a metal build.
It also appears, according to these reports, that the all-glass iPhone model will have a rigid metal frame inside the glass casing - Horng implied that he is not worried about an all-glass iPhone having an impact on his business; presumably this means his firm will still make the metal interior even if it's not handling the glass. And it will still likely make the non-glass iPhone model for the same year.
Horng also added that a glass-built iPhone would need "advanced" technology for its construction and there would not be any cost savings versus a metal-built one in the current design.