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Apple's next iPhone to feature 'slimmer screen'

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Apple's next iPhone is expected to have a bigger screen and now a new report says it will also have a thinner one thanks to updated touchscreen technology.

The tech giant is already mass-producing the screens, which will integrate touch sensors into the LCD, thereby removing the need for a second layer used to make it a touchscreen, according to the report.

The technology, called "in-cell", is about a half-millimeter thinner than what Apple uses now and is also expected to make the image quality on the iPhone screen better.

With that half-millimeter of space, Apple's next smartphone could either be thinner or it could use the space to pack the phone with more components.

Though the in-cell screens take longer to build and are more difficult to put together, their incorporation into the iPhone would make the process of building the phone easier and cheaper for Apple. The report says the screen would simplify Apple's supply chain and cut costs by removing the need for a second layer.

People familiar with the company said Japanese liquid crystal display makers Sharp and Japan Display as well as South Korea's LG are producing the panels for the display.

The report, which was put out by the Wall Street Journal, comes a day after the emergence of a new picture that purports to show the front panel of the upcoming iPhone.

The adoption of the new in-cell technology means Taiwan's Wintek Corp and TPK Holding, which supplied the touch-panel layer of the iPhone 4S screen, did not get orders for the next iPhone.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the report, which comes amid heated competition from rivals such as Samsung, whose flagship smartphone the Galaxy S III uses a 4.8-inch (12.2 centimetre) screen that is thinner than the current iPhone.

Despite challenges from Samsung and others, Apple posted a $US11.6 billion profit in the first three months this year, led by record sales of iPad tablet computers and iPhones - the latter surging 88 per cent year-on-year.

Along with a thinner display, the iPhone is expected to receive several other changes, setting it up to receive the biggest iPhone overhaul since Apple went from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 in 2010.

The new device, dubbed by fans as the iPhone 5, is widely expected to be released in the third quarter of this year, roughly 12 months after the release of the iPhone 4S.

Agencies

99 comments

  • I won't be buying it, if you still have to use iTunes to load your music onto it! It's the most frustrating experience if there is more than 1 iPhone in the house and the music is on different hard drives!

    Commenter
    Dan
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 18, 2012, 8:25AM
    • That you cannot use iTunes is your problem. It is simple to use and it is easy to share music. There are even preferences allowing for sharing if you looked.

      Look up pebkac next time you have a problem.

      Commenter
      ij
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 8:37AM
    • No, it's actually Apple's problem, everyone I talk to hates it as well. I'm going Samsung next phone

      Commenter
      Dan
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 8:49AM
    • Itunes really isn't that hard to use, we have 2 iphones, an ipad and 2 ipods. As well as 2 pc's and a laptop.

      However if they change the docking point and make all my accessories obsolete then it's hello android for me.

      Commenter
      Greg
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 8:49AM
    • iTunes is DRM & bad DRM at that. Ill stick to drag, drop and then listen (or watch) on my S3. No need to install some draconian, invasive program onto my PC. Android FTW!

      Commenter
      albo
      Location
      Wbool
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 9:13AM
    • Have to agree with Dan. I switched to iMac and MB Air, but iTunes stopped me getting the iPhone. I'm now a major Android smartphone user plus expecting my second (7") tablet any day now.

      Commenter
      Mark
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 9:18AM
    • Several of our office staff attempted to use the iPhones as business tools. FAIL.
      Now I have converted the entire company down the Samsung path and guess what.. perfecto. Apple I must admit have advertised so well and locked in the gullible (think this spelling is right?).

      Commenter
      Liberator
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 9:27AM
    • Greg, the accessories won't be obsolete, they will still work with your 2 iphones, an ipad and 2 ipods... which I presume is why you bought them. You're argument is like saying 'I wont buy a certain car if it doesn't have a cassette player, because I wont be able to use my old car kit'

      If you move to android, you will have the same problem, they wont work with samsung...

      Sometimes we need to make a break with the past to move ahead... or do you still have floppy disks, and VHS, and cassette tapes?

      Commenter
      rob
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 9:43AM
    • iTunes could be the most well-designed and well-coded piece of software in all of perpetuity (it isn't). That's not the point. I don't like being forced to use a proprietary program to perform what is, really, a simple file transfer.

      Worse still, once media goes into the iTunes ecosystem, it's a hassle to get it back out. You have to maintain separate libraries for non-Apple devices.

      "It just works"? Yeah, right.

      Commenter
      Spex
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 9:54AM
    • iTunes is the reason I'm not buying another iPhone. I want something that can update its OS without bizarre errors that brick the phone or wipe all my music.

      Commenter
      SJ
      Location
      cyberspace
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 9:55AM

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