Confirmed! iPhone 5 Will Be Even Thinner
July 17, 2012

Confirmed! iPhone 5 Will Be Even Thinner

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

They´ve done it again. The Wall Street Journal has more-or-less confirmed another rumor about the new iPhone.

In April, a KGI security analyst reported Apple´s next smartphone would use a brand new, cutting-edge technology to shave off a few millimeters. Ming-chi Kuo also made claims about the death of the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Apple silently laid the portly portable to rest during their 2012 WWDC keynote.

According to the Wall Street Journal piece, these screens are already being mass-produced by suppliers, and this time around they will be even thinner. According to “People Familiar With the Matter,” these slimmer screens are being supplied by Sharp, LG, and Japan Display Inc., a combination of three Japanese electronics makers.

The Journal confirms Kuo´s April report, saying these small screens will utilize “in-cell” technology, which builds the touch sensors right into the LCD panel. Currently, iPhone screens are built like a glass sandwich: backlight at the bottom, the colored pixels of the LCD display next, topped off with the capacitive touch screen and another layer of glass to protect the whole thing.

In-cell technology removes this final layer of protective glass, building the touch screen right onto the LCD panel. Using this technology could not only improve the overall quality of Apple´s already stellar Retina Display, it also improves their already efficient supply chain as they no longer have to buy touch panels and LCD panels from separate suppliers.

Though they normally make progressive moves to slim down their devices, Apple surprised many when they announced the new iPad would gain 0.03 inches on the previous iPad 2. It was widely assumed Apple did this to pack a larger battery in the device to power the Retina display and 4G radios.

The next iPhone is also rumored to be outfitted with a typically power hungry 4G radio. With this extra space they´ve gained from the in-cell technology, Apple could slim the device even further or put a slightly larger battery in the case.

While we won´t know for sure until Apple takes the stage, the same case which keeps showing up in videos from suppliers suggests Apple opted to throw away those spare millimeters.

According to the Wall Street Journal piece, LCD manufacturers such as LG and Sharp have been working on in-cell technology for several years now, and Apple´s iPhone has finally allowed them the opportunity to show off their latest innovations.

The Wall Street Journal has an impeccable track record when it comes to Apple rumors. Recently, they also reported Apple´s plans to release the mysterious 7-inch iPad.

In May, the Journal confirmed another long held rumor that the next iPhone would expand to 4-inches.

In tallying up the current score, the next iPhone is expected to launch this fall, be outfit with a 4-inch screen, be even slimmer than the current 0.37-inch thick iPhone 4S, and feature a brand new, 19-pin dock connector.

Just remember, “Fall” is only 3 months away. If Tim Cook´s “doubling-down” continues the way it has been, it´s likely we´ll continue to see many more rumors as more suppliers get involved in the building process.