That Thinner iPhone Screen Could Mean Insanely Good Battery Life

There's a rumour floating around today that the next iPhone will use a thinner display technology made by Sharp. But what does that actually mean for you? Maybe insanely good battery life. Or perhaps a 4G LTE iPhone that can make it through the day.

The WSJ doesn't mention the screen by name, but it seems likely that the technology being talked about is the IGZO tech that didn't make it into this year's iPad. The benefits of IGZO are, basically, smaller transistors that allow more light to pass through the display. That means you need fewer LEDs for the same amount of screen brightness. It also means that the screens can operate with vastly lower power consumption. Fewer lights, less power. Makes sense.

Now, we are drifting deeply into the realm of speculation here, but let's say that those long-but-otherwise-sameish iPhone bodies are more or less accurate. If that's the case, and if Sharp's IGZO screen is being used, then the battery can't help but benefit. Here's why: the extra space from a thinner screen would almost certainly be filled by more battery, and the lower power consumption from the IGZO would compound the gains.

Thing is, it's also likely — though obviously not certain — that this year's iPhone will have LTE. That mains battery suckage, which is a main reason Apple has been hesitant to adopt the superspeed networks. To this point, most LTE phones have had large screens, which allowed large bodies to house large, large batteries to keep up with LTE's power consumption. But the battery also had to power those humongous screens. That's less of a problem with IGZO.

A thinner, more power efficient screen might turn out to be a battery breakthrough for Apple — as well as other phones that eventually use the technology.


Comments

    I would like to see advances in technology like this rather then just putting more cores and higher clock speeds in each new model :)

    I suppose Apple will patent a screen thinner then 'x' amount of mm now so other people can't use it >.<

      Apple don't put higher clock speeds and cores in their phones and they are the ones doing this to thin the screen....not sure if stirring .

        Of course they do, just like all other phone makers.

          I wasn't referring to Apple, just phone manufacturers in general, it seems to be the trend lately, rather then battery & screen advances

            It's just smart business sense, raise the processing power and design app and phone features around that and then people see a noticable reason to why they should upgrade.

      I'm pretty sure that if it's Sharp's technology, it's covered by a Sharp patent, is it not?

    Ars technica is reporting "in-cell" digitizer technology as the reason for a thinner screen. That doesn't mean it can't be IGZO too, but it is a more realistic reason for it to be thinner.

    "Could a thinner screen improve the iPhone's battery woes?"

    There's more than one way to write any title, this one got the standard Giz/Apple treatment.

      You're right! This sentence implies that the current iPhone is thick (aka heavy massive) and also implies that the battery life at present is woeful!

      HEY GIZ!! LEAVE APPLE ALONE!!

    I'd rather they spent the time developing a screen that didn't crack when a spec of dust lands on it.
    have had 3 iphones, never again until they make them strong enough for everyday use, and no, I'm not rough, everyone i know is carrying either a cracked iphone or a replacement

      you must all be a bunch of passionfingers cause ive never broken one, nor has anyone I know, and I work in a trade so my gear gets pretty rough treatment

      Fair enough, front and back glass was always a recipe for disaster, but I have to ask..... have you tried using a case?

      this is what I use http://exovault.com/exo9-aluminum.html (its alot of money for such a small object but it protects well and the phone still feels semi nude)

      My phone has fallen from my pocket several times while cycling and this thing has saved my screen from a fate like yours.

    I climb mountains, do underwater deep diving, bungee jump,motor race, work in high rise construction, build rockets and make pancakes for the kids, Have never had a problem with one of these phones.

    Have you seen how many cracked iPhones there are in Australia? I personally only know 2 people who haven't cracked their screens.

      I use my 3GS every day as a tradesman. Have done for over 2 years. Couple of minor scuffs on the screen. Pro tip. Don't drop them.

    @clinton you now know three! 90% of the people I know have never cracked the screen. I don't like cases don't use them. Had a 3G, 3GS, 4 & 4S never cracked it and I drop it quite a bit. Did see an iPhone ran over by a forklift once though

    Don't drop it. If you drive your car into a brick wall there's going to be damage. Logic says if glass impacts a hard surface, chances are it will break.

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