Which is pretty darn skinny. Here's what else we know--and think--about the freshest Apple intel.
The Next iPhone: A New Look
Leaked information about the next iPhone has reached the web from a source considered reliable--because he correctly predicted many of the subtle changes of the iPad 3 having held one just before its launch. The chap in question is Jeremy Horowitz, editor of iLounge.com. He says the new phone will indeed be a radical overhaul in design, sporting a taller chassis and being skinnier in depth with an overall size of 125mm by 58.5mm by 7.4mm--a centimeter longer and 2mm thinner than the current one, which is about a 20% drop. It'll have Gorilla Glass 2 to protect its larger 4-inch screen that'll have a new aspect ratio. It'll have a flat metal back plate, and Apple will abandon the legacy iPod dock connector for a new smaller rounded port.
So...do we believe Horowitz has the goods? A bigger screen has been long predicted, and the skinniness is also plausible (see below). A size ratio change would annoy developers, but would represent a sensible move if the screen was to be bigger. The longer chassis then goes with the screen, and also allows for more space for a bigger battery. Gorilla Glass 2 is basically a given. And via PatentlyApple.com we know Apple recently patented a new thinner connector (which looks very well developed in the patent drawings).
The metal back? We've long suspected this and it would be a solution to smashed iPhone 4 woes. It could even be made of liquid metal. The person who invented this tech, exclusively licensed to Apple in 2010, has been in the news this week saying Apple would need a lot of money and time--at least a couple more years--to develop the tech to build a phone chassis from his invention (which has huge advantages in strength and weight over glass and steel). But a simple flat back to save space, weight and improve strength? That's possible. And it would again let Apple outclass its peers in terms of design progress built on clever supply-chain management.
We're about 75% behind this rumor, though the liquid metal aspect is much less likely.
The Secret To The Next iPhone's Skinny Size
It isn't a secret actually, but it's clever on two fronts: Apple's said to be using new "in-screen" touch sensors for the next iPhone's touchscreen. Currently it uses a bonded layer system where the touch sensors have their own substrate that has to be perfectly glued to the LCD unit--a complex process that can result in low yield and extra thickness. An in-screen sensor array means there's no need for an extra layer, so it can be much thinner and the screen production yield would rise--meaning Apple could either soak up the profits or actually drop the price. And the thinner screen depth allows for a smaller chassis, as well as bringing pixels closer to the surface for an even more impressive look to the user's eye.
We're 90% confident in this.
When We'll See The Next iPhone
October. There's a bit of chatter that Apple will reveal it at the WWDC in June, but that's just 8 months since the iPhone 4S arrived and would mean Apple's Chinese manufacturers were in rapid scale-up production right about now. There are not enough leaks to support this idea.
iPhone 6 Or Just... iPhone?
We're calling this based on a guess, and some history: The iPhone for 2012 will be just called iPhone. Like the new "iPad," and all the Macs.
No idea, no leaks, no extra information has surfaced. But an analyst at J.P. Morgan has said his firm's research doesn't support any supply-chain efforts to produce an Apple television set at this time. In his thinking the market won't be ready for an Apple television until at least 2013 or 2014.
This is plausible. But as we've noted before, analysts seem unable to move beyond their constrained fiscal thinking and understand Apple and its technological advances from a technical point of view. So while it's probably true that there's as yet no hint of production, it wouldn't take Apple long to rapidly scale up a prototype to a full device.
Yes, these are due a refresh and they were likely awaiting the new Intel Ivy Bridge chips, now available. It seems likely we can expect several design cues from the highly successful MacBook Air to arrive in the updated machines. And the chatter is that Apple may well phase out the 17-inch MacBook Pro, which is both expensive and generally appeals to a very limited kind of customer--designers and music professionals. Would Apple abandon these prized customers, though? Stay tuned (not to your Apple TV).
[Image: via Kit Eaton and iLounge.com]
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