A new investor note from JPMorgan Chase, seen by AppleInsider and MacRumors, claims that Apple’s high-end iPhone models will soon use titanium in addition to or instead of aluminum or stainless steel. It also offers new insights into what to expect from the 2022 iPhone lineup.
Based on supply line sources, the note says the material change is coming in 2022 and Foxconn will be Apple’s exclusive supplier for the titanium components. That year’s Pro model phones will likely use a titanium alloy, which is stronger and more resistant to scratches than the stainless steel used in current iPhone models.
While the analyst report doesn’t specify, it’s very likely we’re talking about the chassis and metal band around the edge of the iPhone, not the front and back. The front is still expected to be glass, and given that Apple continues to introduce new MagSafe and wireless charging products and features, we expect the back to remain glass as well.
The report also says the iPhone 14 will see more significant changes than the iPhone 13, suggesting that this year’s new iPhones will be spec bumps with minor new features similar to previous iPhone launches with an “-S” added to the product names. Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 in 2022 will bring some sort of redesign and major new features, similar to the iPhone X or iPhone 12.
In addition, JPMorgan Chase confirms another recent report that Apple will not produce an iPhone 14 mini. That report, from Nikkei Asia, claimed Apple will introduce a 5G iPhone SE sometime in 2022 with the latest, fastest CPU and the same look and feel as the current iPhone SE, but that this will be a death knell for the iPhone mini, which was introduced as part of the iPhone 12 series in 2020, but has failed to meet sales expectations.
Currently, Apple offers two options for small one-handed phone users. There’s the iPhone SE, which emphasizes low cost by using older technologies like an LCD screen and the home button. And there’s the iPhone 12 mini, which packs the latest chip, screen and camera tech Apple has to offer into a smaller body at a price point close to the other flagships.
Based on the insights of Nikkei and JPMorgan Chase, it seems that Apple will soon relegate small phones to the budget bin (or midrange bin, you might say), with the most expensive flagships with the latest features remaining large.