According to DigiTimes, Taiwanese Company Jabil has secured a major contract formerly held by Foxconn to manufacture a forged stainless steel iPhone chassis that will be used to sandwich together front and rear glass panels.
other expected 'iPhone 8' upgrades - include a new display type, camera overhaul and no home button.
the 2017 upgrade is poised to see one of the biggest upgrades in iPhone history as Apple battle falling sales.
The use of metal is not a new thing for Apple, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S used stainless steel to a similar effect, but major differences are expected between them and the 2017 iPhone.
The key change is a switch from 'billet milling' to 'metal forging'. Milling essentially cuts the chassis from a piece of aluminium, while forging essentially squeezes the metal alloy into the mould using extreme pressure. The benefit of this latter method is the metal is much stronger.
Forbes Magazine said that this is unlikely to mean the next iPhone has military grade toughness. After all anything with glass front and back - even toughened glass - puts paid to that, but it will allow Apple to create a slimmer and thinner core chassis without losing any structural integrity. This should mean substance and style, though how much space this leaves for a larger battery remains to be seen.