Apple Plans To Make ‘iPhone 7’ to be thinnest yet, in-line with new iPod touch & iPad Air 2
While all eyes are on this week’s “iPhone 6s” unveiling, Apple’s 2016 iPhone upgrade is already in the works, with the company said to be aiming to make the device as thin as 6 millimeters, which would be even thinner than the latest iPod touch and iPad Air 2. the rumor mill is also turning and churning out rumor after rumor about the upcoming iPhone 7, which is not expected to arrive until 2016.
The latest news about the rumored device comes from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says Apple is planning to make the iPhone 7 thinner than ever.
In a research note sent by Kuo to clients and obtained by Apple Insider, the analyst says the iPhone 7 will have a very slim profile somewhere in the range of 6.1mm and 6.5mm. This would make the device as thin as the iPod Touch and the iPad Air 2, which are both 6.1mm thick. In comparison, the iPhone 6, Apple’s thinnest iPhone to date, is 6.9mm thick, while the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly bulkier at 7.1mm.
The news is not surprising, given Apple’s liking for extremely thin devices, but just how thin can an iPhone go without compromising on other features, such as battery life, for example, or even a next-generation Force Touch or a higher-resolution display ?
The thinness of the next-generation iPhone will likely leave Apple using the same technology to power Force Touch in its 2016 iPhone upgrade, according to Kuo. The “iPhone 6s” is expected to enable pressure sensitive input on its display via flexible printed circuit board technology.
In the long run, Kuo believes Apple would like to switch to a glass-on-glass solution for Force Touch sensing, especially if iPhone displays become even higher resolution. But that may not be in the cards within the next few years, as current glass-on-glass solutions would not allow Apple to achieve a 6-millimeter-thin iPhone, he said on Sunday.
“Apple and its suppliers have invested heavily in iPhone Force Touch in 2015 and we believe 2016 new models will stick with a similar Force Touch structure as used in 2015,” he wrote.
Further, Kuo says the goal to make even thinner smartphones will have Apple continuing to use in-cell displays instead of the same glass-on-glass displays the company used for earlier iPhones. However, Kuo says Apple may go back to glass-on-glass technology in the long run, when manufacturers have developed a new way to create thinner glass-on-glass displays, but in-cell displays is what is on the cards for the iPhone 7.
An earlier report, citing supply chain sources in China, said Apple has sent for glass-on-glass display samples from Corning and Asahi Glass. Glass-on-glass displays are thicker than in-cell displays, but they have a couple of attractive advantages. For one thing, glass-on-glass displays allow Apple to place sensors around and beyond the edge of the display, which opens up the possibility of a bezel-free iPhone. Also, the technology allows Apple to bump up the resolution of its iPhones, which remain at 750 x 1,334 pixels.
That’s what’s expected to be unveiled this Wednesday, when Apple is likely to showcase an “iPhone 6s” with a chassis that appears very similar to the iPhone 6. The most significant upgrades will be internally, in the form of Force Touch input, a faster “A9” processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM, and higher resolution cameras.
In terms of external tweaks, Apple is expected to unveil a new rose gold color option, joining space gray, white, and gold. And the device is expected to sport the same series 7000 aluminum found in the Apple Watch, which should improve durability of the device.