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Monday, June 30, 2014, 09:24 am PT (12:24 pm ET)

Rumor: New backlight component will enable Apple to maker thinner, lighter 'iPhone 6'

Apple's anticipated next-generation iPhone may use only one brightness enhancement film for its display, a change that could enable the company to reduce the size of the LCD component in the handset and create the thinnest and lightest iPhone to date.




While Apple is said to currently use two brightness enhancement films for the Retina display found in the iPhone 5s, the company may have found a way to reduce the screen to just one such film, according to China Times. The switch will reportedly result in a thinner and lighter design, but will also allegedly make manufacturing more difficult.

As a result, Apple will be taking on more suppliers to beef up capacity and help to ensure availability, according to the report, which was first spotted by G for Games. While Miebea was previously supplying backlight enhancement films to Apple, it's been said that OMRON and Radiant will join as suppliers for the "iPhone 6" display.

For months, rumors have consistently claimed that Apple is planning to launch two new iPhones this year, with display sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. Both would be an increase from the 4-inch form factor of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5, which were already a bump up from the 3.5-inch display found on the iPhone 4S and its predecessors.

The next iPhone is expected to be about as thick as a current iPod touch, which measures just 6.1 millimeters. For comparison, the current iPhone 5s is 7.6 millimeters thick.

The next iPhone is expected to be a complete redesign, justifying the new number in the model, with rounded edges much like the iPod touch. Mockups claiming to show the design of Apple's "iPhone 6" also suggest that the lock button on the device has been moved to the upper right side of the handset, while the volume buttons are expected to be "pill" shaped instead of circles.

If Apple follows its recent release pattern, as is expected, then the next iPhone should be unveiled sometime in September and would launch the following Friday. It's likely that iOS 8 would become available to the public around that same time.