iPhone 17 Pro could be first to use space-saving resin coated copper mainboard

In his latest prediction of things that aren’t happening next year, Ming-Chi Kuo shares a brief research note on how soon Apple could implement resin coated copper (RCC) components in the iPhone.

“RCC can reduce the thickness of the mainboard (i.e., it can save internal space) and make the drilling process easier because it’s fiberglass-free,” writes the analyst. “However, RCC will not be adopted in the 2024 iPhone 16 due to its fragile characteristics and inability to pass drop tests.”

If RCC hasn’t been on your radar yet, don’t feel too out of the loop. The rumor that Apple would adopt RCC technology for the iPhone 16 only recently surfaced – and it flew under the radar. Kuo’s research note today is intended to counter that claim.

Now that we’re a little more familiar with the RCC mainboard idea, when might Apple adopt the budding technology? Back to Kuo:

“Currently, Ajinomoto is the leading supplier of RCC material,” he explains. “If Apple and Ajinomoto can improve the RCC material before 3Q24, the 2025 new high-end iPhone 17 models will use it.”

TL;DR Apple could save some amount of space with fiberglass-free components, but not with the next iPhone. A19 Pro, perhaps, but it’s too soon to actually make that claim yet.