Apple likely to slim down iPhone and iPad with thinner and lighter backlights

“As Apple continues its quest to make its iOS devices thinner and lighter, the company will take advantage of advancements in LED backlighting technology to shift to thinner components for the iPhone 6 and upcoming iPad models, according to a report from LEDinside, a division of research firm TrendForce,” Eric Slivka reports for MacRumors.

“The report notes that a thinner design will see Apple shifting from 0.6 mm thick side-view LED backlights to 0.4 mm thick modules, but also questionably claims that the iPhone 6 will arrive in June,” Slivka reports. “The iPhone 6 is generally expected to arrive in the same September-October timeframe seen in recent years.”

Slivka reports, “Apple has been rumored to be increasing display size for the iPhone 6, and while LEDinside‘s report only mentions a 4.7-inch model, a number of other claims have included an even larger model at 5.5-5.7 inches.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I don’t see how Apple can increase the screen size and reduce the size of the LED backlights. Has there been huge advancements in LED technology in the past year that I don’t know about?

    1. There has been advancements in terms of decreasing the thickness of the glass (Gorilla Glass) giving it higher optical clarity as compared to previous generation GG as well as special dispersion coating to allow better readability in bright sunlight. This will result in lower power consumption for backlighting.

      Also the iPad used to have two LED light sources, now reduced to one that can light up the whole screen evenly,. again reducing power consumption.

  2. One of the reasons why sapphire glass is unsuitable for use as an iPhone screen is the question of optical clarity. Gorilla Glass has higher optical clarify by a factor of 30-40% compared to sapphire glass which means that power for backlighting can be reduced, increasing battery life. Further, laminating sapphire glass to increase its structural strength against breakage will increase thickness and decrease optical clarity even more.

    Optical clarity is the transparency of the medium to the passage of light through it. Clearly sapphire glass will lead to the need for brighter backlighting, sapping battery life, not to mention a thicker glass.

    1. Do you have any reasonable basis for your “factor of 30-40%” claim? If so, I would like to see it.

      Even if sapphire required a little more backlighting, Apple already has a big advantage in terms of mobile device power efficiency and power management. If necessary, Apple can afford to add a little extra battery capacity in order to produce a nearly scratch-proof display. But let’s take a step back and investigate whether or not GG is actually optically superior to synthetic sapphire…

      I performed a little internet research on synthetic sapphire. According to Rayotek Scientific Inc. (, synthetic sapphire is colorless with optical characteristics superior to any standard glass. Synthetic sapphire has an optical transmission of up 98.5% and a transmission window extending from 190 nanometers in the UV to 5 microns (5000nm) in the IR. For reference, visible light spans wavelengths of roughly 400nm (violet) up to 700nm (red). Note that some sources identify visible light as 380nm to 750nm.

      I then visited Corning’s web site to check out the material properties of Gorilla Glass ( Corning provides a graph on page 2 showing that the optical transmission of Gorilla Glass is approximately 92% from 500nm to 2500nm.

      BLN, I don’t see your “factor of 30-40%” in this data. If anything, synthetic sapphire has the potential to be optically superior to GG in terms of transmission.

      Any material has pros and cons in terms of its properties. GG may very well be superior to synthetic sapphire in some respects, but optical transmission does not appear to be one of them. And synthetic sapphire is definitely more scratch-resistant.

    1. Yes! I don’t want a thinner phone, I want more battery like. There was a time when the iPhone had the best battery life, but not any more. If Apple added just one more hour, it would make a big difference.

  3. There has to be some human limit to how slim and light Apple mobile products need to be and some practical limit how much money Apple has to keep spending to make each device slimmer and lighter. In my opinion, the iPhone and iPad are thin enough and light enough. Give me more battery life. I swear, when I go to the hospital clinic I see three- and four-year old children holding onto their iPads with cases and they’re not struggling at all to watch videos for stretches at a time.

    Apple is either trying to cut costs on raw materials or pushing rivals to try to keep up but other than that I see no physical need for Apple to go further in lightening or slimming down their mobile products. I’d personally rather just do a few dozen more wrist curls if I get to the point I can’t hold an iPad for more than a few minutes at a time.

  4. And as cool as my MacBook Retina became, what I’d give to thicken up up a little so the RJ45 jack (Ethernet) could be added back. Can live with the FW800 dongle, but the Ethernet dongle is a PITA — indeed, it’s starting to wear out my TB connector as I plug it in and unplug it so often.

    Thinness for the sake of thinness isn’t always desirable.

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