(Reuters) - Apple Inc's next iPhone will use a new technology that makes the smartphone's screen thinner, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
This is currently being manufactured by Asian component makers, Sharp Corp, Japan Display Inc and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd who are mass producing the panels for the iPhone using so-called in-cell technology, WSJ said citing sources.
The adoption of in-cell technology means Taiwan's Wintek Corp and TPK Holding Co Ltd, which supplied the touch-panel layer of the iPhone 4S screen, did not get orders for the next iPhone, the paper said citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer. The absence of the layer makes the screen thinner and the quality of displayed images would improve, said DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase, the Journal reported.
Apple could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.
(Reporting by Adithya Venkatesan in Bangalore; Editing by Jane Merriman)
Alleged iPhone 5 Photos, Complete With Glass Cover In Place, Leak
For the 8,576th time in the history of our weekly look back at Apple rumors, we ask the question: "Is THIS the iPhone 5?" And so the question returns this week, continuing its Ripkenesque streak, as several photos of what appears to be a taller, slimmer iPhone have been published on KitGuru.net. In a twist right out of a Shyamalan movie, the post has since been removed. KitGuru author "Carl" explains why: <blockquote>Yesterday we ran a story featuring multiple images highlighting key design elements of Apple's iPhone 5 which is due for official release later this year. Due to external pressures, which we are unable to detail publicly we felt it necessary to remove this story and all related images.</blockquote> Spicy and mysterious, like the best kinds of beef jerky! Luckily, before the article succumbed to "external pressures," every tech website on the Internet snatched up all the supposed iPhone 5 photos that KitGuru had posted. <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2012/07/12/more-next-gen-iphone-casings-float-across-our-desktop-photos/" target="_hplink">9to5Mac has all the shots saved for posterity</a>, if you'd like to flip through them at your leisure. They show, hazily, all of the supposed features of the next-gen iPhone seen before: The slimmer body, the 4.0-inch display, the headphone jack moved to the bottom, the <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/20/confirmed-the-new-iphone-will-have-a-19-pin-mini-connector/" target="_hplink">smaller dock connector</a>. These are the best photos of the alleged device we have so far, however. So, if looking at what might be the new iPhone a few months before Tim Cook officially unveils it is an activity that titillates you: Have a ball. And when you're done with that: Flip over to the next slide. We have more rumors about the next iPhone to consider. Way more.
Could The iPhone 5 Be Released On August 7th?
For months now, we've been hearing that the next iPhone will be released near the end of September or beginning of October. But could Apple really have pushed up the unveiling to August 7th, or just under two months from now? That's what tech blog KnowYourMobile.com insists, anyway: That according to "a reliable industry source," Apple will raise the curtain on the iPhone on the 7th of August, far earlier than expected. We're skeptical -- wait for a second and third source on this one before you mark your calendars -- but we do love the bravado and swagger with which KnowYourMobile's Paul Briden ended his post: <blockquote>Make sure to check back with us on August 7 when we'll have live coverage of Apple's announcement. </blockquote> We shall certainly check back on August 7th, yes. In the meantime: Let's see if we can get some confirmation from other sources on this rumor before we bet the farm on the early August unveiling.
This Could Be The Mold From Which The iPhone 5 Springeth
From GottaBeMobile -- not to be confused with KnowYourMobile -- <a href="http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/07/10/exclusive-iphone-5-engineering-sample-photos-direct-from-china/" target="_hplink">comes this photo of what</a> is apparently an "engineering sample" for the iPhone 5. They've got a goodly batch of photos over at GBM, but what you need to know is this: The alleged sample shows a new iPhone that is taller and thinner than the iPhone 4S but that retains the width of the current iPhone. (Just like we've been hearing for months now.) Add it onto the growing pile of evidence that the new iPhone will have those taller, thinner dimensions. And hey, if this picture is accurate, maybe Apple is also working on a sweet Silver Surfer-edition of the new iPhone. It's perfect for blinding your friends on a sunny day! <a href="http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/07/10/exclusive-iphone-5-engineering-sample-photos-direct-from-china/" target="_hplink">Head over to GottaBeMobile for more</a>. We're headed to the Wonderful World of the iPad Mini rumors...
iPad Mini Is Already Production, Would Be Exactly THIS Big
Last week was all about the iPad Mini -- both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal heard that Apple was working on a smaller, cheaper tablet for release by the end of the year -- and we have a few more "details" on it this week. First: Charts! Check out this chart: It's how the iPad Mini, with the reported 7.85-inch display, would size up compared to the current iPad, Amazon's Kindle Fire, and Google's Nexus 7 (the latter two, of course, are the $199 7-inch tablets that an iPad Mini would seek to compete against and wipe out). This handy comparison comes <a href="https://twitter.com/trojankitten/status/221270669273468930" target="_hplink">via the Twitter account of one TrojanKitten</a>. Thanks, Condom Cat! Second: Wild analyst predictions! Without even knowing what the device is or how much it will cost, <a href="http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/07/09/apple_seen_selling_up_to_6_million_ipad_minis_this_holiday.html" target="_hplink">Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray writes that</a> Apple could sell "4-6 million" smaller iPads, should they release one. For whatever it's worth, Munster thinks that an iPad Mini with 16GB would go for $299, since the iPod Touch with 8GB memory costs $199. Analysts have been predicting a price point between $249 and $299 for the iPad Mini, in order for it to compete with the Fire and Nexus 7. Finally: Japan! <a href="http://www.macotakara.jp/blog/index.php?ID=17085" target="_hplink">Macotakara reports that</a> the iPad Mini is already in production and that it will come with the optiob for 3G, not 4G. Macotakara's source also says that -- contradicting TrojanKitty's magic chart -- the iPad Mini will have the same height as the Nexus 7 and will be about as thin as the current iPod Touch. The iPad Mini, ya'll! It might, maybe, possibly, weather permitting, be released later this year!
13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Coming This Fall?
Apple's already got a big bad super-gorgeous-and-expensive 15-inch Retina display MacBook Pro; but here's a riddle: What if you want that beautiful screen but don't need all 15 inches of real estate? Stupendous news: Your wait for a smaller Retina display MacBook may soon be over, friend! Wild and wacky Taiwanese trade publication <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/10/apples-13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-to-launch-before-october/" target="_hplink">Digitimes claims that</a> a 13-inch MacBook Pro could be out before October, which actually aligns with <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/15/13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-coming-in-october/" target="_hplink">what we've previously heard from the generally reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo</a>. And if that report arouses your interest, here's one more: Sharp eyes apparently espied a <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/10/13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-shows-up-in-benchmarks/" target="_hplink">13-inch Retina MacBook Pro being tested on GeekBench</a>. If the GeekBench peepers are right, that would seem to confirm that Apple is at least exploring a 13-incher with the Retina screen. This rumor is too green to count on, however. As they say in the television news biz: More on this as it develops.
Could T-Mobile FINALLY Get The iPhone Next Year?
And finally -- we end with an AND FINALLY. <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-10/t-mobile-may-get-apple-iphone-next-year-bernstein-analyst-says" target="_hplink">As flagged by the business-y types at Bloomberg Businessweek</a>, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett is inflaming the hopes of T-Mobile customers once again, writing in a research note that he's seeing evidence that T-Mo could FINALLY start carrying the iPhone in 2013 -- or, some time after the monster iPhone 5 launch expected for this autumn -- ending years and years of torment for subscribers to the fourth-largest mobile carrier in the United States <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-10/t-mobile-may-get-apple-iphone-next-year-bernstein-analyst-says" target="_hplink">Moffett writes that</a> it seems "increasingly likely" that T-Mobile will gain the selling and customer retention power that comes with the iPhone in 2013, which the would-be AT&T partner could use to hang on to fleeing subscribers. <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/24/new-claims-of-iphone-5-coming-to-t-mobile-usa/" target="_hplink">We've heard this rumor before</a>, of course, and it didn't come true last year (uh, obviously). But maybe, just maybe -- if enough T-Mobile customers wish upon a star -- the gossip could finally prove true this time. Or not, and yet another Apple rumor will prove to be the stuff of frauds. Buzz-killlllll! That's all for This Week In Apple Rumors! Make sure you check back next week, when we'll have a full new crop of Apple rumors; or, if you can't wait that long and need your Apple rumors delivered as they emerge, <a href="http://twitter.com/gilbertjasono" target="_hplink">you can follow me on Twitter right here</a> for all the latest.