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iPhone 5 to be skinniest Apple yet SHOCK

But as much to do with the battery as the touchscreen tech

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The next iPhone will be skinnier than the current one, but not entirely - as the Wall Street Journal would have us believe - because Apple will use advanced touchscreen tech.

How does the paper know that's what Apple plans to do? The inevitable people familiar with what Apple is up to but who can't allow themselves to be named. So, an authorised leak then.

The iPhone 5's LCD will be thinner - approximately 0.44mm less than the one in the iPhone 4S, it is thought, based on past forecasts from display market analysts who've considered the technologies available to Apple for phone thinning.

The prime candidate is what's called "in-cell" touch technology, which embeds the sensors into the display panel instead of simply slapping a sensor layer on top with optically clear glue sandwiched in between. Both Sharp and LG make in-cell touchscreens, which require fewer separate steps to manufacture than standard phone touchscreen display panels do but are currently more expensive to make because yields are much lower.

All good stuff, of course, but shaving 0.44mm off the display unit doesn't make for an appreciably thinner phone. So Apple will have to fit a more svelte battery, which would allow it to reduce the iPhone's thickness by a further 0.46mm. Getting rid of the 4S' glass back and replacing it with metal will help the girth reduction further.

The upshot, as analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, of broker KGI Securities, said back in April, the 9.3mm thick 4S could be superseded by a 7.9mm iPhone 5.

Separately, more snaps have appeared of what is claimed to be the new phone's faceplate, these ones following the now-standard pattern of a taller handset that looks like an iPhone 4S stretched to accommodate a 4in display. ®

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