Metal chassis makers, including Taiwan-based Casetek Holdings, China-based AAC Technologies and Singapore-based Hi-P Electronics, are expected to join the race to compete for smartphone chassis orders from Apple in 2018, according to DigiTimes.
Casetek is a supplier of the MacBook's chassis and iPhones' volume and power buttons and wants to become a chassis supplier for 2018 iPhones in 2018, the article adds, quoting unnamed “industry sources.” Hi-P is mainly supplying plastic chassis for Apple's entry-level iPhones, but is planning to obtain orders for iPhone's metal chassis and has sent in engineering samples for certification. AAC wants in on the smartphone metal chassis business and its product samples are being validated, adds DigiTimes.
Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olsen has predicted that Apple will launch, among other models, a 6.1-inch TFT-LCD iPhone this year. It’s anticipated to use a Casetek-made metal back, ditching the glass found on the iPhone 8 and X.