Apple is poised to take a major step in smartphone technology with the iPhone 17, set to adopt a cutting-edge solution to maximize internal space for hardware innovations. The struggle to fit increasingly sophisticated features into limited smartphone real estate is a familiar challenge for tech companies. To address this, Apple is exploring the adoption of Resin Coated Copper Foils (RCC) for its iPhone PCBs, though this transition is not expected until the iPhone 17. There are compelling reasons for this delay, primarily centered around the material’s fragility and its implications for durability.
According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 16 won’t see the integration of RCC due to concerns about its fragility. The delicate nature of RCC raises issues related to drop tests, prompting Apple to postpone the implementation of this technology until the iPhone 17. However, the advantages of using RCC are substantial. It opens up valuable internal space within the mobile device, enabling the incorporation of additional components and the introduction of new features, promising an exciting future for Apple’s smartphone lineup.
This expanded internal space could also facilitate the inclusion of larger batteries, an area where Apple previously favored its larger models like the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max due to their larger displays. The iPhone 17 may allow Apple to offer improved battery life across a broader range of models. Whether this innovation will be exclusive to the ‘Pro’ versions or extend across the entire lineup remains to be seen.
Another benefit highlighted by Kuo is that RCC simplifies the manufacturing process by making drilling easier. Unlike traditional materials like fiberglass, resin copper coating is distinct, which presents Apple and its supplier, Ajinomoto, with the task of striking a delicate balance between the two. The cost implications of this material shift have yet to be disclosed, but we will keep our readers updated on this aspect in the near future.
The iPhone 17’s adoption of Resin Coated Copper Foils marks a significant leap forward in smartphone design, offering increased internal space for hardware improvements. Although the transition to RCC may not happen immediately, Apple’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology and delivering cutting-edge products is evident. This upcoming release promises a durable, feature-rich, and innovative smartphone experience for users, ensuring Apple’s continued influence on the mobile technology landscape.
Source: Ming-Chi Kuo