The limited space of a smartphone can often be daunting for companies as they have to work out new techniques to cram in as much technology and features as possible. One method Apple is reportedly employing in an attempt to free up space is the adoption of RCC or resin copper coated foils for iPhone PCBs. Unfortunately, one analyst claims that we are not expected to witness this change until the iPhone 17, and there are several reasons that prevent the company from transitioning to this material almost immediately.
RCC has ‘fragile characteristics’ and will not survive drop tests, making it unfeasible for adoption in the iPhone 16 lineup next year
One of the biggest hurdles for Apple in adopting resin copper coated foil for the iPhone 16 is durability, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his medium blog, Kuo states that the technology will not be found until the iPhone 17 because Apple still has to work around its fragile properties, as it will not hold well against drops. However, its biggest advantage is freeing up valuable space inside a mobile device, allowing more components to be fitted, and presenting customers with additional features.
It might also give Apple more space to work with when adding bigger batteries since that is an area where the technology giant can only give preference to the larger iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max thanks to their bigger displays. For the iPhone 17, Apple is said to be working with its supplier Ajinomoto to improve the RCC material before the third quarter of 2024 so that it can be used in the 2025 models, though it is not mentioned if it will remain exclusive to the ‘Pro’ versions or be introduced to the entire lineup.
Another advantage pointed out by Kuo in using RCC foil for the iPhone 17 is that it will make the drilling process easier. For those who do not know, resin copper coating is fiberglass, but the absence of this material means it is not as durable, forcing Apple and its supplier to find a delicate balance between the two. We are unaware of the associated costs when switching to this material, but we will update our readers on the latest in the near future.
News Source: Ming-Chi Kuo