The iPhone 7S could have a glass back, just like the Galaxy S7

iPhone 6S

The idea of an all-glass iPhone has been bounced around recently, with suggestions that Apple could stick a curved glass panel on both the front and back of the 2017 flagship coming after this year's iPhone 7.

Now that possibility is looking surprisingly likely, as the CEO of one of Apple's supply chain companies has revealed that such a phone may be in the works.

Nikkei reports that speaking at his company's annual shareholder meeting, Catcher CEO Allen Horng revealed that "one model" of the iPhone 7S (or iPhone 8 as it might be called) "will adopt glass casing next year". Catcher makes the metal casing for the current iPhones so Horng should know what he's taking about

He went on to say that "I don't think this move will have an impact on Catcher's revenue as glass casing still needs a durable metal frame which requires advanced processing technology and would not be cheaper than the current model."

Glass clash

A glass front and back with a metal frame: sound familiar to anyone? It will to Samsung, as that exact description could apply to recent members of its Galaxy S range. If both panels are curved, as was previously rumored, the iPhone 7S could bear more than a passing resemblance to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

Of course this isn't the first time Apple has dabbled with a glass back for its phones, having first rolled one out on the iPhone 4, so you could see this as Apple imitating Samsung imitating Apple, or something. Regardless, it would certainly bring these long-time rivals closer than ever, unless Samsung also refreshes its flagship design for the Galaxy S8.

It's worth noting that even if the iPhone does go back to glass, Horng says only one model will do so, suggesting that Apple could offer two different designs on its phones. With the iPhone 7 largely rumored to look similar to the iPhone 6S, we're expecting a significantly new design for the iPhone 7S anyway, whether Apple goes for metal or glass.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.