The iPhone 4S is hardly a fatty, but it is thicker than many of its Android-powered rivals. However, thanks to in-cell touch technology and other improvements Apple is expected to make to the sixth-generation iPhone, the handset could measure in at just 7.9mm thick — 1.4mm thinner than the iPhone 4S.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities who has just predicted the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will make way for an all-new model that combines the qualities of both, also has some predictions for the next iPhone. Kuo believes that in a bid to compete with its rivals, the new device will be at least 1.4mm thinner:
Since Apple’s smartphone competitors have generally slimmed down their high-end offerings 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.
As such, all iPhone 4S components that account for thickness must be slimmer, specifically, touch panel, battery and casing. Moreover, a marginal amount of space is required between the three parts for the sakes of assembly tolerance and thermal expansion of components.
To shave off that 1.4mm, Kuo believes Apple will use in-cell touch technology that will reduce the device by at least 0.5mm, corroborating with last week’s report from DigiTimes. It will also make the battery wider but thinner, reducing its thickness by roughly 10%. Another 0.5mm will come from the iPhone’s rear casing, which is expected to be metal rather than glass, and therefore a little thinner.
Not only will in-cell touch technology make the new iPhone thinner, but it’ll also make iPhone display production much simpler, according to Kuo. It’ll mean there are fewer steps in the manufacturing process, cutting production time from 12-16 days to just 3-5 days.