Apple iPhone report sees thinner screen

Reports about the next-generation iPhone – dubbed the iPhone 5 by certain publications and analysts – have reached a crescendo pitch.

Indeed, a number of mainstream publications have weighed in on the next-gen handset in recent weeks, with the well respected Wall Street Journal becoming the latest non tech specific site to detail iPhone specs and other related tidbits.

According to the WSJ, the iPhone next boasts a thinner screen compared to any of its wildly popular predecessors. As you may recall, prior rumors hinted the next iPhone would have a taller, but not necessarily wider screen to maintain support for current apps.

The next iPhone, says the Wall Street Journal, is currently being manufactured by component makers in Asia. The handset will reportedly be equipped with a thin new screen powered by in-cell technology, developed by Sharp, Japan Display and LG.

Essentially, the technology integrates sensors required for touchscreen operation into the LCD, thereby eliminating the need for an additional touchscreen layer which typically measures approximately half a millimeter thick. Its removal allows the entire display to be thinner – while simultaneously increasing the image quality.

True, half a millimeter doesn’t sound like it will make a huge difference, but just consider that the entire iPhone 4S is only 9.3 mm thick. As such, cutting half a millimeter off the screen thickness alone will certainly make for thinner and lighter device overall, while reducing power consumption and allowing Apple to simplify its display supply chain.

It remains unclear if Cupertino will fill the vacated space with additional components such as batteries, or if it will simply choose to make a thinner device. Considering most people have been happy with the battery life of the iPhone, I suspect Apple will opt to make the handset thinner, which is probably more appealing to the masses.

The next-generation iPhone is expected to launch at some point in the fall of 2012.