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We could See a Significantly Thinner Next-Gen iPhone

After receiving word that Apple could be turning to in-cell touch panels with the next-gen iPhone, it’s quickly sinking in that this could mean significant changes for the physical shape of the device (finally!). Mainly, analysts are saying that the iPhone 5 could be drastically thinner than the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. But “drastic” is a very relative word here, since we’re talking about a potential reduction of about 1.4 mm.

Even though we’re talking about pretty miniscule measurements, you can see how a change from 9.3 mm for the iPhone 4 to 7.90 mm for the rumored next-gen iPhone would offer quite a different tactile experience. The factors that might allow for this shrinkage would be the use of an in-cell touch panel (which combines several layers of the current, on-cell design) as well as the use of liquid metal for the casing. I don’t think many customers would hate seeing Apple abandon the glass outer body of the iPhone 4, as I’m sure those with shattered devices can attest… Along with improved aesthetics, in-cell touch panels could mean great things for supply chain management.

An analyst from KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo, had this to say about sizing trends in today’s smartphone industry:

“Since Apple’s smartphone competitors have generally slimmed down their high-end offering to 7-8mm, Apple needs to make a leap forward from 4S’ 9.3mm thickness. We believe Apple will aim at 8mm or below (at least 1.4mm slimmer) for iPhone 5, in a bid to ensure brisk sales through 2014, while peers will also continue to introduce increasingly slim models next year…”

There’s no arguing with Kuo when you look at the latest batch of Android handsets. The 7-8 mm range also seams feasible for Apple when you consider how they hit the 7.2 mm mark with the latest iPod Touch.

Leave a Comment

  • Qixo

    Of course you can argue with Kuo. It would be one thing if the iPhone was some huge, fat device, but it isn’t. And something everyone comments on when picking up the iPhone 4 is how nice those glass surfaces feel.

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