You can read into these reports from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities as much as you want. Kuo claimed this morning that Apple is about to axe the 17-inch MacBook Pro line entirely while introducing a rumored all new MacBook design by Q3 2012 (via MacRumors). Kuo also alleged Apple will adopt in-cell display technology to help slim down the next-generation iPhone by up to 1.4mm to under 8mm. IHS told Wired earlier about the advantages of in-cell displays:
“The advantage of in-cell is that you’re streamlining the manufacturing process, so in time you should be able to drive efficiencies and reduce cost.” IHS analyst Rhoda Alexander told Wired. “Additionally, by reducing the number of layers, you reduce the size and thickness of the device, making it thinner and lighter.”
According to the report, Kuo said in-cell would provide a reduction of approximately 0.5mm, while other reductions could come from the battery and a thinner metal casing on the back.
Since Apple’s smartphone competitors have generally slimmed down their high-end offerings to 7-8mm, Apple needs to make a leap forward from 4S’ 9.3mm thickness. We believe Apple will aim at 8mm or below (at least 1.4mm slimmer) for iPhone 5, in a bid to ensure brisk sales through 2014, while peers will also continue to introduce increasingly slim models next year… As such, all iPhone 4S components that account for thickness must be slimmer, specifically, touch panel, battery and casing. Moreover, a marginal amount of space is required between the three parts for the sakes of assembly tolerance and thermal expansion of components.