KGI: Next-generation ‘iPhone 7’ to be as thin as iPod touch, around 6mm

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Although we may be just three days away from the unveiling of the iPhone 6S, which will mirror the iPhone 6 in appearance, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is already looking forward to the iPhone after the iPhone 6S, which would be named ‘iPhone 7’ if Apple followed previous year trends. In the tock year, Apple has typically changed the way the iPhone looks externally and apparently 2016 will be no different. The report says the next iPhone will approach iPod touch levels of thinness, with a body between 6 and 6.5mm. For comparison, the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are 6.9 and 7.1mm respectively.

It also indicates that the next-generation iPhone will use the same Force Touch technology as the yet-to-be-announced iPhone 6S and 6S Plus as Apple suppliers have invested heavily in the feature for this year’s devices.

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As such, this suggests that Apple will not move to glass screen technology, as suggested by a previous rumor, and instead stick to in-cell panels. In-cell panels have limitations on maximum screen resolution, but KGI does not see Apple wanting to go to 4K resolution displays for iPhones anytime soon. One major advantage of in-cell screen technology over other options is thinness — by integrating the touchscreen sensors into the LCD, maximum thinness can be achieved. This will help in achieving the 6-6.5mm thickness Apple apparently wants for the iPhone 7.

Whilst it may seem weird to be talking about the iPhone 7 before the 6S is even formally announced or released, Apple’s product timescales are such that they work on multiple generations of device simultaneously.

For consumers, of course, everyone is currently focused on the 2015 lineup which will be announced on Wednesday, 9th September. 9to5Mac posted a full roundup of what to expect yesterday, so make sure to read that for all the details.

Obviously, the headline device is the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Whilst maintaining the same exterior appearance, the phones will feature significant internal updates — faster processor, upgraded cameras, pressure sensitive display and more. We also expect the revamped Apple TV and iPad Pro to feature in the announcements as well, in one of Apple’s biggest product events ever.

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Comments

  1. usmansaghir - 7 years ago

    Making it thin is always good, but please Apple we need more innovation on battery life. . iPhone 6 is better then previous generations but far behind competition. My blackberry lasts for over 2 days without having to worry about charging it. I enjoy using my iPhone but at the same time worrying about how to save my battery life daily is becoming a bigger headache everyday.

    • applegetridofsimandjack - 7 years ago

      I think iPhone 4 has been the best iPhone when it comes to battery life, my top 5 from best to worst iPhone battery life (my first one was the 3GS), do you agree?

      1. iPhone 4
      2. iPhone 3GS
      3. iPhone 6
      4. iPhone 5
      5. iPhone 5S
      6. iPhone 4s

      • usmansaghir - 7 years ago

        Totally agree with you, iPhone 4 has to be my favourite iPhone out of all generations. Iphone 5 has to be the worse comparing to the rest. 2nd best has to be iphone6.

      • anekin007 - 7 years ago

        1. iPhone 6 plus

      • yuniverse7 - 7 years ago

        I don’t know, but I think iPhone 6 has a pretty good battery. 6+ definitely has great battery life.

      • tmrjij718 - 7 years ago

        I disagree. My battery life for iPhone 4 was terrible. iPhone 6 is the best for me.

      • AlturaCS - 7 years ago

        I totally agree with you, iPhone 4 is the best phone ever.

      • Tyler Cameron - 7 years ago

        The original iPhone got amazing battery life…
        But can we really count it when it only had the battery-sipping EDGE?

    • BLURLABS (@blurlabs) - 7 years ago

      my iPhone 6 and now the 6s plus last 2 day – you must be a giant day user?

  2. applegetridofsimandjack - 7 years ago

    That would be soooo awesome. I am really hoping for an even thinner iPad Air 3 as well. Like 5.5mm?

    But how will Apple make the iPhone thinner? Making older iPhones thinner like the iPhone 5 which was 1.7mm thinner than the 4s and 4. But the thinner you go, the more difficult it gets. That’s why the iPhone 6 is barely 0.7mm thinner than iPhone 5S and iPhone 5.

    • applegetridofsimandjack - 7 years ago

      Every company is having issues innovating in battery technology. The reason Apple can make iPhones and iPads thinner is because of software tweaks. Battery technology is older than my house. Lots of breakthroughs have been made in battery innovation but the technologies that were discovered in battery technology will only be implemented in 5-10 years.

  3. Paul Van Obberghen - 7 years ago

    Surely I must be an idiot, but sincerely I don’t understand this madness about anorexic thinness in Apple products. What’s the religion? Why do these products need to be thinner and thinner and thinner? I certainly don’t want to carry around an iPhone the size of a brick, or an iPad the size of a dictionary, but aren’t they thin enough already? What’s the point? Please, someone, educate me.

    • applegetridofsimandjack - 7 years ago

      I don’t want to be sound like a beech but designers understand why Apple always wants to make their products thinner and lighter. Consumers love it without actually realising how important it is to them. Apple has always understood that people don’t always know what they want. Nobody asked for an iPad, Apple launches one and everybody wants one, just an example.

      And Apple is right, if the iPhone 6 has been let’s say 8mm thick, it would’ve been quite a bit heavier. Thinness and weight are extremely important and I totally get why Apple is so focused on this.

      • Paul Van Obberghen - 7 years ago

        Weeeeell, yes and no, sorry. I loved the 4S. It was feelling solid and indestructible (though it probably wasn’t). My 6 is lighter, granted, and the big screen is great for sure, but it doesn’t feel that solid. I always need to check if I have it on me when I knew I had my 4S (and 3GS before that) on me because of the weight. This means, I constantly forget it on my desk before living, having to go back to get it, which never happened before. And I needed to get a case for the 6 because it was splipping from my hand to easily. I never needed a case for my 4S or 3GS, now I need one to be sure I have a good grip on it. And it feels brittle, fragile. I’m affraid that it would fall, even with the case.
        Furthermore, a little bit more thickness would allow for a more powerful battery, and if you question users, what do you prefer, provinding you can only have one, not both, of course: thinner or more battery time? I’d bet they’d choose better battery time by a large margin.
        Thinner is a designer think, as you said, and I can understand that. They believe that this is what people want without even knowing why. Maybe so. But I’m mister nobody, really, and I really don’t care that much about about thinness. I want my iPhone to get me through a full day, and that is from waking in the morning up to getting back to sleep (late) at night, with a day at work (working that is, not playing videos or games) and possibly an evening out in between. With some reserve.
        “Extremely important”. Well, I guess I must be extremely limited somewhere…

    • rettun1 - 7 years ago

      One could argue that it pushes the industry and the technology forward as a whole. Now we have way more engineers figuring out how to fit more power into less space. Surely (maybe?) there is a point where we can’t go thinner, but I think the miniaturization ultimately does well for all electronics. Smartwatches, whether you love them or hate them, wouldn’t be as powerful as they are today if engineers we rents so used to making smaller and smaller devices.

      For me though, I love love love a thin phone. Just so sleek and sexy

  4. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    Any thinner and they will have to come up with new headphone jacks with adopters.

    I honestly don’t want a phone any thinner then the current 6 plus I have. Already easy to slip out of your hand. Also with getting fatter for force touch panels how are they going to get so much thinner in a year?

    I prefer a thicker phone with more battery and shorter to get rid of most the top and bot bezels.

    The iPad Air’s thickness feels good in my hand for some reason the 6 plus does not.

    • With the push towards wireless (ie: Bluetooth 4.2), who says they even need headphone jacks?

      • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

        The quality of Bluetooth headphsound ones still leaves a lot to be desired

      • Charlypollo - 7 years ago

        Just… No.

      • The fact that I don’t want to keep buying different headphones every time Apple wants to do something stupid like remove the headphone jack? Something that makes actual sense and isn’t utter stupidity maybe?

      • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

        I already have an expensive pair of headphones which I won’t replace for many years. This illogical push towards thinness in Apple products is absurd and pointless. If I can’t plug my headphones in, then I’ll buy a phone which will let me do that.

      • Tyler Cameron - 7 years ago

        Because everyone has bluetooth headphones.
        Because everyone wants to recharge their headphones every couple hours.
        Because everyone wants to turn on another radio that puts extra strain on the battery.

        Jesus, it’s that kind of idiot “logic” that made Apple come out with the new MacBook.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      Why? iPad touch uses standard headphone jack.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Umm they’ll just use the lightning connector port to output audio, and Bluetooth 4.2 or maybe 5.0 in the iPhone 7, not that they need to remove the headphone jack to get down to 6.1mm, although I think they should remove it for more space, it takes up a lot of space inside, it’s not even about thinness.

      • The day they force their customers to use a proprietary jack for HEADPHONES is the day I stop being an iPhone user. That would be extremely stupid. The phone is more than thin enough, this idiotic obsession with being thinner every cycle is beyond stupid.

      • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

        Going to usb c connectors and using them for sound is more likely then lightning. Would be many more companies making usb c headphones do to Mfi. High costs of autencicating chips for headphones would keep companies from making lightning headphones just like what has happened with AirPlay.

  5. Paul Van Obberghen - 7 years ago

    Unnoticed by the author, the above design seems to integrate the home button inside the screen, which, to my opinion, is much much more important than being a fraction of a millimeter thinner. Also, I would bet for USB-C connection accross the line (iMac, MacBook, iPhone, iPad, iPod). And for the vanishing of the archaic audio jack. A technology of the last century. And by that, I mean the 19th century. Litteraly.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      That’s just a mockup, not anything based on real rumors and certainly not an engineered working product. It’s easy to make fantasy mockups in Photoshop.

      • Paul Van Obberghen - 7 years ago

        I know that, thank you. Just pointing out that the author of this mock-up sees that the iPhone 7 _could_ have the home button inside the screen.

      • @Paul Van Obberghen

        I wouldn’t be surprised if integrating the home / TouchID button is the end game, although I am skeptical we’ll see that by iPhone 7. I’m thinking more iPhone 8.

    • Smigit - 7 years ago

      I doubt the news source is based on the mockup, which is likely a 100% unrelated image which I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a few times in the past already. Thats why it wasn’t mentioned in the article, because the image and content are largely unrelated and one is a potentially credible rumour and the other a wild pipe dream by a graphics artist.

    • Tyler Cameron - 7 years ago

      The 3.5mm jack NEVER needs to be removed from any device.
      This kind of idiot logic is why the new MacBook even came about. -.-

  6. rogifan - 7 years ago

    Wait, so the 6S is supposed to be slightly thicker to accommodate force touch yet the 7 will be thinner and still accommodate force touch? I call BS on this report.

  7. Jesper Hellman - 7 years ago

    Just have a stance shrink the electronics as much as you can set a hard limit of 10 mm thickness, and cram the rest of the space full of battery. just doing that we could probably get 5000-6000 mAh, or about a full days worth of power for powerusers and 2-4 days for regular use, This would be golden.

    and with the extra thickness they could easly put in AirPower (wireless carging) and some extremly good speakers. im all for more robust high quality stuff then the hunt for the thinnest product that will soon break if looked uppon.

  8. clintaustin26 - 7 years ago

    A thinner Plus model? Sounds like they’re inviting a bendgate part 2.

  9. Interactive Arts - 7 years ago

    I think others have clearly stated my opinions here…. I’ll just say one word for the record. BATTERY!

  10. usmansaghir - 7 years ago

    I did read a report about Apple had patented earpods that use the lightening port instead of the head phone jack. if its true, lets hope its not as bad as the charging wire. Keep having to replace my lightening charger. Having to do that with EarPods will be another reason for andriod fans to bash Apple lol.

  11. Martin Kaninsky - 7 years ago

    fingers crossed they make also a smaller one!

  12. macnificentseven48 - 7 years ago

    A month after the new iPhone is introduced, Samsung will come out with an even thinner smartphone called the Galaxy 6S Edge Minus and it will be .005 inches thinner so Samsung can say it has the thinnest smartphone on the planet. Some Android manufacturers has to beat Apple’s iPhone at everything. The only problem with the Samsung smartphone is whether they can dissipate the heat fast enough from an octa-core processor. They’ll probably just throttle it down if it overheats. It’s a shame Apple keeps making the iPhone thinner and thinner. I really don’t know what it proves except to save on material. I’m sure most users would prefer a beefier battery to a thinner device, but that’s Apple for ya. They’ve got their own ways of doing things and maybe they’re simply trying to bait other manufacturers into building thinner devices and also shorten their battery time. Maybe Apple will one day come out with some amazing battery technology and get the drop on everyone else, but that’s long-shot.

  13. Not only as thin as iPod Touch I also want same colors!

  14. yuniverse7 - 7 years ago

    Make it thicker with bigger battery.

  15. a little early to be worried about iPhone 7 rumors atm and not worried about battery life.

  16. vpndev - 7 years ago

    Thin is OK but iPhone 6 is thin enough already. Camera bump is BS.

    My vote is to beef it very slightly – and absolutely eliminate the bump.

  17. RP - 7 years ago

    I just want them to reduce the sides, top and bottom. The 6 looks so huge and old fashioned compared to all the other smartphones. I keep putting off upgrading my 5s. By comparison the galaxy note 5 looks sharp as hell. Great screen, great design, compact but with a far bigger screen and resolution. Probably the best smartphone on the market right now

    • Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

      what would be great is if the home button became part of the screen area – so that you had 2 icons on either side of the home button… within an app these side areas could be for back and forth or minor buttons…
      The top part they just need to move the light sensor to the right of the speaker and move everything to sit just above the screen…

      the idea of the big bands above and below are not needed…

      i also think the power button should either be put back on top or moved half way…the current position isnt idea as i keep putting my thumb or finger on the volume button while i try to press the power button

    • Tyler Cameron - 7 years ago

      Samsung needs to be boycotted.
      They copied the iPhone 6 design.
      Their newest phones are thinner and have smaller batteries than last year’s models? What?… Logic?…

      • RP - 7 years ago

        No the new Galaxy Phones do not look anything like the iPhone 6. That’s why I said it’s a far better design. It’s far more compact with much smaller side bezels and far smaller forehead and chin. Particularly the Note 4. It’s a far more elegant design than the iPhone 6 plus

        No worries though, as I am sure the iPhone 7 will be more compact. I am just keeping my iPhone 5S one more year than expected..

  18. Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

    I have the iphone 6plus… i love it… my main issue with it is that it is too thin… without a case it is uncomfortable to hold as it feels like it is digging into me… it still feels awkward to hold and it’s not great to hold for gaming… plus, if they go thinner they compromise on battery…i also hate the protruding camera — i would much rather they went thicker to fit a better camera and bigger battery – i would love a 3 day batter on an iphone…

    as for screens – i dont think 4K viewing is needed on a phone BUT i do think the iphone needs 4K video…they also need to start innovating… it seems samsung is trying new things, such as the edge (although thats very impractical for me)

  19. DamoTheBrave - 7 years ago

    Dear 9-5Mac, could we ease have a poll on whether readers would prefer thinness or battery life? Hopefully Apple will see the answer.

  20. groblewis - 7 years ago

    I am mystified by the obsession with thinness, when as many have noted, it has significant downside. Apple, Samsung and the rest are engaged in an arms race for bragging rights, totally ignoring the real concerns of real users. I’d gladly buy a thicker phone that had significantly better battery life.

  21. confluxnz - 7 years ago

    6mm thick? Wow, the marketing pitch writes itself doesn’t it… Introducing, the iPhone so thin you can use it as a tissue to wipe away your tears when it snaps in half like a cracker in your pocket.

  22. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

    >”In the tock year, Apple has typically changed the way the iPhone looks… ”

    Nitpicking here, but 2016 is a tick year, not tock.

  23. DeWaarheid (@udo327) - 7 years ago

    we don’t want thinner phones. We want better batteries!!!!

  24. Jony is at it again with his obsession on thinness. I’m beginning to wonder if he does more bad to the company than good: iPhones, iPods, the latest MacBook. I’m pretty certain my views are going to be confirmed in a couple of days, again.

    I guess we’ll have to switch to Android before we can start not worrying about battery packs in our bags. Personally, I’m very happy with my LG G2 mini in terms of battery life, which lasts about 3-4 times as long as my iPhone 6 :/ Comparatively, I “forget about charging it”.

  25. Gregory Wright - 7 years ago

    Lets see – over hear we have the battery lifers and over hear we have request for more features. My simple mind says you can’t have both.

  26. gkenny2112 - 7 years ago

    I really hope this is the design of the iPhone 7 can’t wait to see what the team comes up with next

Author

Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.