Apple's iPhone 7 to be waterproof and could potentially launch earlier than the traditional September

By Roger Fingas

Catcher Technologies will supply chassis parts for upcoming iPhones. These phones are to be both waterproof and use "new compound materials" to conceal their antennas, according to the rumor.

Although the possibility of a waterproof iPhone design was previously rumored, no other sources have mentioned antenna changes. Apple could conceivably be hoping to integrate the part into the chassis itself.

The suggestion of new materials might also be consistent with rumors that Apple is considering a non-metallic chassis. Since the iPhone 5 Apple has tended towards an all-aluminum design, but other materials might improve structural stability and/or reduce manufacturing costs. Apple in fact adopted tougher 7000-series aluminum for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but presumably at extra expense.

Apple could potentially launch a 4-inch "iPhone 6c" as soon as April, and new flagship iPhones earlier than the traditional September timeframe. It's only the latter that are expected to be waterproof.