KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has agreed with the latest reports that say Apple will integrate in-cell technology in its next iPhone. He says that the new technology, combined with the use of a metal back and a thinner battery, could result in a device measuring 7.9mm thick, around 1.4mm thinner than the iPhone 4S.
Apple Insider reports that Kuo researched the benefits of in-cell technology for Apple's iPhone, and found that the touch sensors would be embedded into the glass display, eliminating the need for a separate touch sensor layer and adhesive layer. The absence of these layers would mean the iPhone's thickness could be reduced by 0.44mm.
Kuo believes that Apple is aiming to reduce the thickness of the new iPhone to less than 8mm, and thinks that Apple will use a thinner battery and a metal back, combined with the in-cell technology touchscreen display, to get the next iPhone down from the iPhone 4S's 9.3mm to 7.9mm thick.
The in-cell technology would also provide "more efficient supply chain management," says Kuo, because the production of the displays will be quicker and cheaper. He suggests that the number of days required to make the display could be reduced by up to 80 per cent, and production costs could be 10 - 20 per cent lower.
Giagom's Kevin C. Tofel believes the in-cell technology will not be used to make the next iPhone thinner, but will be used to make room for a better battery to support 4G LTE capabilities.
"It makes more sense for Apple to use the space savings not to make the next iPhone thinner, but instead to offer more room for the battery. A thicker battery in the same overall iPhone size would offset any additional power usage for an LTE radio in the next handset," writes Tofel.
Kuo, who has been busy this week reporting that Apple will discontinue the 17in MacBook Pro and is still experiencing new iPad supply struggles, predicts that the next iPhone will launch in the third quarter of 2012.