The next generation iPhone will employ “in-cell” technology, allowing the device’s screen, and thus the device itself, to be up to 1.4 mm thinner than the current iPhone 4S, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report substantiates earlier rumors about Apple’s possible use of in-cell display technology from April 2012.
In-cell technology integrates the display and touch layers, currently separate, into a single, thinner layer. The result is reduced thickness and slightly improved image quality. Additionally, the switch to in-cell based displays may reduce Apple’s costs by simplifying the supply chain.
Comparison of iPhone 4S thickness (left) to that of a future iPhone (right) using in-cell display technology (via MacRumors).
While Apple’s use of in-cell display technology will allow it to produce a thinner device, it would also allow a larger battery at the same thickness as the iPhone 4. With the likelihood of a battery-hungry LTE radio in the next iPhone, Apple may opt to use the added space for greater battery capacity.
The Wall Street Journal reports that mass production of the displays is already underway, with orders split between Sharp and Japan Display, a new company comprised of three Japanese electronics companies’ display divisions and South Korea’s LG Display Co.
The next iPhone is expected to be released this fall alongside iOS 6.