Friday, August 24, 2012

Production of iPhone 5 screens begins, on track: LG CEO

And so it begins: LG says that it has started production of screens for Apple's next-generation iPhone, believed to be called the iPhone 5 (although considering the "new" iPad, it could be the "new" iPhone).

"We just began mass production and we don't expect any disruption in supplies," Han Sang-beom, chief executive of LG Display, a panel supplier for Apple products, said to reporters late on Wednesday. He added that LG's production schedule remains in-sync with Apple's product release plans. The comments were embargoed until Thursday morning.

The report goes on to say that LG is producing a "new and thinner display." It won't mean that the iPhone 5 suddenly becomes as thin as a credit card, but these new "in-cell touch panels" can be made thinner than traditional on-cell panels, as the touch sensors are actually placed inside the color filters rather than atop them. It will minimally reduce the thickness of the panels, but for Apple and for many consumers, every little bit helps.

That's not the only rumored change to the iPhone 5 screen. Apple is expected to stretch the screen to 4-inches diagonally, but maintain the current iPhone's width, which would change the aspect ratio to 16:9. Current apps that are not optimized for the new display will be "letter-boxed" in portrait mode, or "pillar-boxed" in landscape mode, it's believed.

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In addition, it's expected that the iPhone 5 will (finally) support 4G LTE, center the FaceTime camera, move the headset jack to the bottom of the phone, add a smaller dock connector, use a faster processor (perhaps even quad-core) and have a slightly larger battery.

The current targeted date for the launch event is Sept. 12. Apple is expected to also announce a smaller-sized iPad mini, a new iPod touch, a new iPod nano, and perhaps a redesigned iPad with the new dock connector. Retail launch for the device is assumed to be on Sept. 21, with iOS 6 delivered to current devices earlier that same week.

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