Apple is reportedly looking to the past for inspiration in designing future iPhones.

Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities claims Apple’s 2017 iPhone – which would be the iPhone 7s, assuming it sticks with traditional naming conventions – will drop its aluminum chassis in favor of an all-glass enclosure.

It wouldn’t be the first time Apple has shipped an iPhone primarily constructed of glass as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s featured rear panels made entirely of glass.

As 9to5Mac correctly points out, nearly every premium smartphone maker is now crafting handsets out of aluminum. The lightweight material looks great in most applications but given its widespread use, Apple is reportedly looking to differentiate itself from the competition. An all-glass handset would certainly do just that although concerns over durability immediately come to mind.

Companies like Corning continue to innovate but for the most part, toughened glass protects against scratches, not drops. Motorola demonstrated last year with its Droid Turbo 2 that a shatter-proof screen is possible using a flexible AMOLED display and multiple lens layers. If Apple does indeed go with an all-glass design, one would hope that it utilizes a type of glass that’s hard enough to withstand everyday abuse.

It would be uncharacteristic for Apple to wait until 2017 to overhaul the design of the iPhone as that’s something that traditionally takes place every other year. In theory, we should see a redesigned iPhone later this year although leaks to date suggest otherwise.

iPhone concept courtesy Martin Hajek,