April 24, 2012
Obvious Apple News: iPhone Expected To Get Smaller, Thinner
Michael Harper for Redorbit.com
File this away as the easiest claim in the world to make: KGI Security analyst issued another report on Monday claiming the next iPhone will be the thinnest one yet. Ming-chi Kuo also made news earlier as he predicted Apple would be cutting the 17-inch MacBook Pro from its lineup.
How will the new iPhone get its slim figure? Kuo says the Cupertino company will be switching to “cutting edge” in-cell touch panels for their next smartphone.
These panels will reduce the weight and overall thickness of the device.
Your iPhone is now composed of many different layers. On the very bottom layer is the backlight, which is topped off with the Blue, Green and Red pixels of the LCD display. Then, there´s the capacitive touch screen which sits on a thin pane of glass.
On top of the touch screen is the final layer of Gorilla Glass, the final layer in your iPhone sandwich.
The current design has the touch screen separated from the LCD screen. This new predicted design would combine the LCD and touch screens, meaning the user would actually be touching the elements on the screen, rather than touching a pane of glass directly above the screen.
Kuo says these displays would be sourced from Toshiba and Sharp.
“The advantage of in-cell is that you´re streamlining the manufacturing process, so in time you should be able to drive efficiencies and reduce cost,” IHS analyst Rhoda Alexander told Wired.com on Monday afternoon.
“Additionally, by reducing the number of layers, you reduce the size and thickness of the device, making it thinner and lighter.”
Others are claiming the new iPhone will get a larger screen, anywhere from 4 to 4.3 inches. Adding extra glass, even such a small amount, would add some weight to the new device, something Apple is never too keen on.
If these predictions turn out to be correct, this new in-cell display would allow Apple to spread the size of screen without adding thickness or weight.
Wired.com says one way this new display could work would be by “multiplexing” the electrodes which would allow them to handle the signals for both the LCD screen and the touch screen simultaneously. Should Kuo´s predictions be true, the iPhone would be the first cell phone to ship with this technology.
This technology is still brand new, so it´s still unknown how reliable the yield rates of these new screens would be.
iPhone rumors have slowly begun to trickle in as we get closer to either a predicted June or October release date. Such rumors are common in the months leading to a new iPhone release.
Last year´s product announcement left those wanting a radical new iPhone sorely disappointed as Apple decided to stay with the iPhone 4 design for another generation.
This next iPhone is widely expected flaunt a new, thinner body with a back made of a liquid-type metal and possibly have a larger screen on the front. Also topping the charts in the iPhone rumor mill are a new naming convention which will follow that of the “new iPad,” and 4G LTE compatibility. Some have even predicted a new charging port, leaving behind the original 30-pin connector. Previous iPhone announcements have been made at WWDC, which is typically held in June. Apple has yet to announce the dates for this year´s WWDC, adding to the regular suspense of an iPhone announcement.