‘iPhone 7’ leak points to extremely thin design

“A research note from HSBC (via TechRadar) suggests that [Samsung and TMSC] will not be competing again each other in the next iPhone, with TSMC potentially taking the complete order of A10 chips, likely to be the main driver of the iPhone 7,” Ewan Spence writes for Forbes. “The note highlights TSMC’s ‘integrated fan out’ packaging to allow for a stack of chips to be mounted on top of each other and then directly to the motherboard. That reduces the vertical height from the board, allowing for a thinner smartphone.

“The drive for a thin smartphone continues with Apple, so anything that can reduce the thickness of the internals will be seriously considered,” Spence writes. “This drive for thin components ties in with a number of indications from the supply chain that Jony Ive’s buzzword for the iPhone 7 is thin. Leaks such as the potential removal of the bulky 3.5mm headphone jack and a reliance on the lightning port for, moving the Touch ID sensor into the screen assembly, and dropping the 3D Touch screen from the smallest iPhone, all indicate that Apple’s R&D focus is about reducing component size. And recent presentations across Apple’s portfolio have all been focused on super-thin designs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: At Apple, as has obviously been the case for many, many years, thin is in.

BTW, such thin devices would require an extraordinarily strong casing material in order to hold their form through everyday use (perhaps why Apple has continued working on Liquidmetal all these years).

I estimate that Apple will likely spend on the order of $300 million to $500 million — and three to five years — to mature the technology before it can used in large scale. — Dr. Atakan Peker, one of the Caltech researchers who invented Liquidmetal, May 2012

That said, as we wrote back in January:

Would you trade iPhone thinness for crazy battery life?

Apple is fairly obsessed with thinness.

iPhone models’ depth (thickness) and weight:
• Original iPhone:s 11.6 mm (0.46 in), 135 g (4.8 oz)
• iPhone 3G: 12.3 mm (0.48 in), 133 g (4.7 oz)
• iPhone 4: 9.3 mm (0.37 in), 137 g (4.8 oz)
• iPhone 5: 7.6 mm (0.30 in), 112 g (3.95 oz)
• iPhone 6 Plus: 7.67 mm (0.302 in), 172 g (6.1 oz)
• iPhone 6: 6.9 mm (0.27 in), 129 g (4.6 oz)

We just pulled an original iPhone out of a drawer. It’s not insanely thick feeling. It feels as nice in the hand as it always did – and the weight’s just fine, too.

We have a simple question: Would you opt for a thicker (and heavier, of course) iPhone if it gave you significantly (double or more) battery life?

The question is not if Apple will axe the 3.5mm headphone jack, but when – December 1, 2015
Apple rumored to replace 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 with all-in-one Lightning connector – November 30, 2015
Why Apple may axe the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 20, 2014
Apple may be poised to kill off the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 7, 2014
Apple may ditch analog 3.5mm headphone jack for Lightning to make thinner devices – June 6, 2014

Two new Liquidmetal patent applications cover every current Apple product, plus vehicle panels – October 29, 2015
U.S Patent office reveals four Apple patent applications involving Liquidmetal – October 22, 2015
No Home button? Liquidmetal body? What can we expect from next year’s Apple iPhone 7? – October 19, 2015
New Apple patents show continuing work on Liquidmetal – August 11, 2015
The Turing Phone is not made out of Liquidmetal – July 15, 2015
Why does Apple keep extending their partnership with Liquidmetal? – June 25, 2015
Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2016 – June 23, 2015
Two new Liquidmetal patent filings from Apple revealed; list watch and jewelry among potential uses – April 23, 2015
Liquidmetal’s Apple alliance yet to bear fruit – September 30, 2014
Apple’s new Liquidmetal-related patent sparks speculation – July 7, 2014
Apple patents method for embedding sapphire displays in LiquidMetal device chassis – May 27, 2014
Liquidmetal-Visser agreement paves the way for more rapid adoption of amorphous metal manufacturing – May 21, 2014
Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2015 – May 21, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. I don’t really care how much thinner they get if at all. More battery life is always welcome. Easier to hold onto would be welcome too (without the need for a case.)

    1. Tim Cook hired a team to focus on thinning down product lines, but completely disbanded the QA team at Apple.

      His priorities:

      * Promoting the gay agenda internationally
      * Making greedy shareholders richer with dividends
      * Making frivolous acquisitions
      * Obsessing over product thinness but neglecting software quality
      * Ruining existing products by hobbling them
      * Botching product launches

      In that order!

    2. yep.

      although i am quite happy with my iphone 5, every once in a great while i still reach into the back of my desk drawer to pull out my old 3gs. it just flat out feels nice in the hand. no hard, sharp edges, just a nice comfortable rounded grip.

      and then i think,considering all the progress that has been made in paring down the internal components to make newer models always thinner, why not stay with a fatter rounded form and use that extra space for longer lasting battery power.

      after all that is the goal of all battery development; longer life.

      that is my preference, anyhow.

      set aside this mania for thinness and give us more and longer lasting battery power.

  2. The thinness is all about going where competitors can’t. Competitors can’t reasonably get rid of the 3.5mm jack without considerable risk. As such, they’re limited by it. That being said, they could go to the less widely used 2.5mm jack.

    1. If Apple did put in a two day battery, I think that you and others would still complain that they didn’t put in a one week long battery. Even then, there would be some complaining that they didn’t put in a one year long battery. Apple can’t win with some people.

      1. It’a not as if 6s can go whole day on a charge now if you use heavily and don’t have wifi. And despite this sites mania for the plus it’s not the the phone for me. It’s hard to use the 6s one handed, much less the plus (my wife has one and I’ve tried). I may have hands that best fit in. 4xl glove, but I also have carpal tunnel.

        I’d consider going back to the 4″ if other specs similar.

        My vote is for more battery life.

    2. My 6+ gives me 2 day battery life for my use level. Personally I’d prefer an even larger screen, maybe 5.7″ or even 6″. The extra space would allow for a bigger battery. I tend to charge my phone every day anyway since if I’m going out for 7-8 hours with a 60% charge there’s always the possibility it’ll get drained. I’d like to say thinness doesn’t matter, but if they can make something even thinner and stronger than the 6+, bring it on. It’ll compensate somewhat for being so big and fit into my pocket better.

  3. I would like it to be so thin that they offer basically a screen and then your option of battery capacity in cases. So, it’s not really a case in that you can’t use the phone without it, but when you attach it to the phone it doesn’t feel like you’re adding a case to it it feels like you’re making the phone complete.

    1. The problem with that is the added thickness and weight to support the battery back on even the thinnest battery option. We already have 3rd party battery cases for this.

  4. I, for one, vote for thinness. I have a 6S plus and would like the same display size in a lighter, shorter, narrower, and thinner case. Cutting off the top and side bezels and reducing thickness would be near perfect.

    1. I agree with you on this. I think it would be better to take the increased space savings and allocate it towards reducing the bezel as long as they maintain the battery life they have now.

  5. Contrary to most people’s opinion on this board (including MDN) “THIN” is a huge deal!

    Here’s why.

    Thin is more mobile
    Thin is hard to compete against
    Thin also means light
    Thin and Light together means easier to handle AND harder to break
    Ultimately, it becomes so thin and light and uses negligible power that it does NOT require a battery at all. It runs on solar for years (not hours). Getting there may rake several more iterations……but this is the ULTIMATE GOAL.

    Why can’t anyone see this?

  6. If apple would like to make great product and have re-occuring dollars, they need to build a network for wi-fi, and cell communication.

    people will tire of the high price phones and iPads.

    there should be 3 pads, all maxed out with memory of 256GB, wifi, cell, mini, iPad, iPad pro, 249, 449, 649. that’s enough. 449, 649, are prices where there are a lot of other products to consider, like 4K tv, digital slrs, even boat cruises. plus the iPad pro is too big, too heavy, and looks silly when the pencil is charging, if not crazy. how did that slip through?

    the price of these devices should be coming down.

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