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'iPhone 12' could get bigger battery because of smaller circuitry

Alongside the battery itself, iPhones have circuitry to prevent overcharging (Image source: iFixit)

A reduction in the size of an essential battery protection circuit for the iPhone could mean that Apple has room to include bigger batteries in the 2020 "iPhone 12" series.

Sources within the supply chain claim that the "iPhone 12" expected to be released in late 2020 will feature smaller battery-related circuitry. The custom battery Protection Module Package (PMP) which governs charging is said to be both 50% smaller and thinner. The difference could mean that Apple will be able to increase the size of the battery.

According to The Elec, a Korean website, the reduction and redesign has been done by South Korea's ITM Semiconductor. The company reportedly first supplied the protection module to Apple for the iPhone 11, although it already provides components for the AirPods Pro.

ITM Semiconductor is said to currently be one of three suppliers making what are called Protection Circuit Modules or PCMs. Compeq in Taiwan and MinebeaMitsumi in Japan have also made them for Apple. However, what ITM Semiconductor has redesigned is a Protection Module Package (PMP) which appears to be unique to the company.

It's this new PMP which is smaller and so may provide extra room for battery space. Separate reports, though, say that 5G in the forthcoming iPhones will require larger circuit boards which may mean there's still no more space for larger batteries.

Forthcoming 5G iPhones are expected to need larger, more costly motherboards
Forthcoming 5G iPhones are expected to need larger, more costly motherboards

ITM Semiconductor is reportedly due to complete work on a third plant in Vietnam which is intended to be used solely for Apple. The company is said to be planning a fourth plant and it's also possible that the PMP will be used in tablets and computers as well as phones.