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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung is rumoured to be switching from polycarbonate to aluminium and magnesium for its shell casings for next year's wave of Galaxy smartphones. It is speculated that the first device to ditch the plastic rear will be the Galaxy S5, but there are claims that other future handsets will also follow suit.

According to Korean site ET News, industry sources state that Samsung is to compete directly with rivals in adopting a metal rear casing. Both the HTC One and the iPhone 5 have aluminium shells and are considered by some as feeling more premium than the current flagship phone in the Korean firm's line-up, the Galaxy S4.

The site also claims that Samsung will look to reinvigorate the entire design of the premium end of the Galaxy range, not just in the materials but with aesthetics too. The manufacturer has allegedly dispatched engineers to a factory in Vietnam to examine the possibility of whether it can mass produce the new metal cases. Samples, it is suggested, have already been built.

We will have to wait until 2014 to see the first product to carry the new Samsung design code, but those who can't wait too long for their next hit of Sammy goodness need only wait until next week, 4 September, when the company will announce the Galaxy Note 3 during its Unpacked event in Berlin on the eve of the IFA consumer electronics trade show.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 29 August 2013.