Despite the bigger screen, iPhone 6 could be lighter than 5s

iPhone 6 concept (Federico Ciccarese 001)

With a 4.7-inch and a massive 5.5-inch iPhone versions reportedly in the pipeline, you’d expect both new iPhones to be a tad heavier than the current-gen four-inch iPhone 5s, simply due to a larger and thereby heavier enclosure/screen assembly.

Not so fast.

According to a new report, Apple’s engineers are scrambling to slim down next-generation iPhones by switching to a lighter backlight module and possibly using a lighter device frame, too…

A report from LEDinside, a division of research firm TrendForce, was highlighted earlier today by PatentlyApple. The story quotes sources from Apple’s supply chain as claiming that the iPhone 6 has a much lighter frame and thinner LED backlights.

In the previous generation, the iPhone used 0.6t side-view type LED, in contrast the new iPhone will probably be adopting 0.4t side-view type LED.

LEDinside also heard from sources that these design changes will trickle down to future iPads, which will see their backlights go from the current 0.8mm down to just 0.6mm thick modules,

Suspiciously enough, the report makes no mention of a 5.5-inch iPhone and goes on to claim that the iPhone 6 is likely to be released in June 2014. We find the summer release schedule rather improbable so you’re advised to take the story with a few pinches of salt.

Of course the next iPhone is going to be thinner.

By making the display – and consequentially the entire device – notably larger, engineers have more room to spread out components, allowing for thinner designs.

iPhone 6 concept (Federico Ciccarese 005)

The iPhone 5s is 7.6mm thick.

That being said, I don’t think shaving a millimeter here and there will make for a huge difference in terms of the overall compactness of the device.

In a report yesterday, The Korea Herald said the next Galaxy would also be thinner, by using a new single-layered panel technology.

Whereas the existing touch panels widely used for other smartphones consist of four layers including two ITO (indium tin oxide) films, the single-layered panel “enhances the display’s transparency level, leading to improved energy efficiency and viewing accuracy,” per The Korea Herald story.

The South China Morning Post wrote earlier today that the new iPhones will come in 4.7 and 5.5-inch flavors, with sharper Retina screens at 441ppi (the same as Samsung’s Galaxy S4) versus the 326ppi for the four-inch Retina screen on current iPhones

The phones will be covered with a sapphire coating, the story alleged.

Me, I don’t care about how much thinner the next iPhone is.

What I want to know is how whether its bigger and heavier battery will last longer.


Mockups via Federico Ciccarese.