There’s a clear pattern to iPhone design that a lot of people miss.
Every two or three generations, Apple switches the basic iPhone chassis design between two options: Extrudo and Sandwich.
These informal nicknames were dreamed up by Jony Ive’s celebrated Industrial Design team when designing the first iPhone.
The team initially came up with two prototypes. One had a back made from extruded aluminum, with a glass screen attached to the front – hence “Extrudo.”
The other prototype was made from two glass panels front and back, joined to a metal chassis in the middle – the “Sandwich.”
For the original iPhone, released in 2007, the industrial design team decided on the Extrudo design, with a curved aluminum back.
The subsequent iPhone 3G and 3GS were also Extrudo designs.
But in 2010, Apple switched to its first Sandwich design for the iPhone 4, which featured glass on the front and back with a central steel antenna. The 4S, iPhone 5 and 5S were all Sandwiches.
Apple switched back to Extrudo with iPhone 6, 6S, 7, 8, X, XS and 11, then back to Sandwich with the iPhone 12, 13 and 14.
Guess what’s happening next year with the iPhone 15?
You guessed it! Looks like we’re getting a Sandwich again – this time in titanium!
– Leander Kahney, EIC.