iphone 8 plus split open
Apple's new iPhone 8 (R) and 8 Plus are seen after they go on sale at the Apple Store in Tokyo's Omotesando shopping district, Japan, 22 September 2017 (Issei Kato/Reuters)

Apple is reportedly working on a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone with a metal casing, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Thursday citing an unnamed source.

Apple could release three new iPhones next year: a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, a 5.8-inch OLED version and a 6.3-inch OLED iPhone, the report said adding that only the 6.1-inch model could get the metal backing.

While the glassback of the latest iPhone models is super glossy and luxe, the cost to repair them have been burning a hole in cusotomers pockets.

Repairing the iPhone X's screen costs $279, more than twice the price of an iPhone 6 screen replacement ($129), and about 65 percent higher than the iPhone 8's screen ($169).

Apple moved to a glass back to facilitate wireless charging, a new feature for the 2017 iPhones.

If the 2018 iPhone switches back to a metal casing, the potential for wireless charging is unclear.

Neverthless, shifting to a more sturdy metal backing will offer durability. Drop tests have shown that the glass backing on the iPhone X is especially susceptible to cracks.