Apple’s 2023 iPhone will feature a titanium chassis with curved rear edges replacing the existing squared off design, claims a new rumor.
According to Twitter user @ShrimpApplePro, the back edges of the iPhone 15 will be rounded to create a new border, similar to the bottom edges on the case of Apple’s latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. For reference, the iPhone 14 models use a flat-sided design with squared off edges that harkens back to the iPhone 4. The last model to sport curved edges was the iPhone 11.
Despite the switch to titanium material, the iPhone 15 will “still have a back glass,” claims the leaker, who has provided accurate information in the past, although @ShrimpApplePro cautions that the information comes “still very early to take it as it is.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors claiming Apple will release a titanium iPhone. Earlier this year, iPhone 14 rumors suggested that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would have a titanium alloy chassis, but that did not play out: All iPhone 14 models have a chassis made of aluminum and stainless steel.
However, Apple has recently investigated into the viability of titanium casings for its products, which include patents related to the use of processed titanium with unique properties for future MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones.
Compared to stainless steel, titanium has a relatively high hardness that makes it more resistant to scratches, and its stiffness makes it durable enough to withstand bending.
However, titanium’s strength also makes it hard to etch, so Apple has developed a blasting, etching, and chemical process that can give titanium enclosures a high-gloss surface finish for a more attractive appearance. Apple has also been researching the use of thin oxide surface coatings which can reduce the appearance of oily fingerprints.
If the latest reports are accurate, it would be the first time Apple has used titanium in iPhones and iPads. The company has used titanium as a casing material in recent Apple Watch models such as Apple Watch Ultra, and the physical Apple Card is made of titanium, but the latest iPhones and iPads are made of stainless steel and aluminum.
Likely to arrive in September 2023, the iPhone 15 models are expected to come in identical sizes to the iPhone 14 lineup and feature USB-C instead of Lightning, solid-state volume and power buttons, new camera technology, and Dynamic Island for all models.
According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, Apple might potentially replace the “Pro Max” version of the iPhone 15 with a new “Ultra” model, following its Apple Watch Ultra naming convention to indicate a top-tier product. Whether the titanium case rumor relates to a specific iPhone 15 model, however, is unknown.