Counterpoint Research has estimated that smartphones with glass back cover will possibly hit a target of 26 percent by the end of 2018 and 60 percent by the end of 2020 respectively.
The report attributed this new trend to a competitive smartphone market where Original Equipment Manufacturers are differentiating their offerings in the crowded smartphone ecosystem.
“Smartphones with glass backs have already penetrated the premium segment (80%). Almost all the premium smartphones launched in 2018 came with a glass back and the trend is likely to stay for rest of the 2018 and beyond,” the report noted.
With average smartphone prices within the premium segment going up, smartphones with glass backs add to the overall look and feel, making them look more attractive and premium. And one of the reasons for glass becoming a preferred choice over metal is the overall look and feel of the device.
Other reasons while glass back is gaining traction is the increasing adoption of wireless charging. Metals don’t support wireless charging as effectively as a glass back does. However, the adoption of wireless charging is relatively low, with Samsung and Apple driving adoption. As more smartphone makers start including Qi technology, the adoption of wireless charging is set to increase and can penetrate the mid-tier segments.
In addition to the above, the decision to go with glass backs for an OEM also reduces the BoM cost as glass sourced in a larger quantity will be cheaper than an all metal build. From a connectivity standpoint as well, glass doesn’t interfere with radio waves and allows them to pass through easily and hence ensures strong signals for LTE/WiFI/Bluetooth.