Apple is reportedly reducing the thickness of the battery it will use in its next generation iPhone—dubbed the iPhone 6 in the media—to just 2mm. Citing unnamed sources in Apple's supply chain, Taiwan-based DigiTimes said Apple has reduced the thickness of the battery by some 33 percent, down from 3mm, while keeping capacity at iPhone 5s levels.
The Battery Diet
Battery life is a huge aspect of the mobile market, and Apple has consistently focused on reducing the size of its iPhone batteries while keeping operational battery life at the same levels. It generally does so through next-generation chips that use less power, and through tight integration with the operating system.
But Apple has also worked hard on battery technology, and a 33 percent reduction in the thickness of the iPhone's battery is a significant achievement. DigiTimes noted, for instance, that Samsung has reportedly developed a battery just 1.65mm thick, but that company hasn't released it in the wild.
As with any DigiTimes story, it's worth looking at the nature of this rumor to judge its legitimacy. I've often noted that the closer we get to the release of an Apple hardware product, the more details about that product leak. At 2-3 months out before the expected release of the next iPhone, we're at a stage where many leaks are proven true.
At the same time, DigiTimes has tendrils throughout the supply chain ecosystem in Taiwan and China. DigiTimes has a reputation for getting things wrong, but the reality is that it is usually right when it comes to components. It's when it tries to divine Apple's long-term plans from what little information any supplier has that DigiTimes misses the boat.
This is a component story, and I personally place a high chance it will be borne out.