Apple to replace iPhone 4 glass backing with metal featuring an integrated antenna
As the tech world froths with more iPhone on Verizon rumors, an overlooked bit of information caught my eye. According to Digitimes, Apple is going to replace the glass back panel of the iPhone 4 with metal that features an integrated antenna:
As for the CDMA iPhone, Pegatron Technology is expected to start mass production in December and will supply to both US-based Verizon Wireless and China-based China Telecom. The CDMA iPhone’s back plate will be forged from metal materials and will feature an integrated antenna, according to Digitimes Research.
While the report specifically mentions the CDMA iPhone (Verizon is CDMA), it would be unusual if Apple kept other iPhone 4 models with a glass enclosure. My guess is that Apple is looking to replace the back glass for two reasons: one, it’s relatively fragile and prone to shattering with minor drops, and two a metallic back panel with integrated antenna could help to aid the antenna problems that have received so much negative press.
I really wouldn’t be surprised if Apple restyled iPhone with a metallic enclosure. From a purely design standpoint it seemed unusual that Apple went with the glass back considering their other products are enclosed in a hardy and attractive aluminum shell. Assuming they figured out a way to help the antenna issues and just make the device more durable in general, this design change is a no brainer before the iPhone comes to millions more customers through Verizon and even T-Mobile in the USA.