iPhone 5 rumor rollup in the week ending April 22: October release date, in-cell technology, Liquidmetal and others

4-inch screen and unchanged form is possible, designer says

Recent reports claiming that the iPhone 5 will sport a 4-inch screen have raised the question of whether Apple will keep the form of the smartphone unchanged or they will redesign the entire case according to the new display.

Designer Will Hains at Good Will Blogging believes that Apple could keep the same sized device and still use a 4-inch display for its next smartphone.

These images present a concept of a possible iPhone case maintaining the same dimensions with a larger screen.

iPhone 5 could use in-cell technology

DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh states that Apple is likely to use the technology from Japanese manufacturers such as Sony, Sharp, and Toshiba, which are leaders in the industry at the moment.

“Compared with on-cell technology, touch panels that use in-cell technology can be made thinner because the touch sensors are actually placed inside the color filters rather than on top of them,” Hsieh explained, as cited by Taiwan’s Central News Agency,.

In addition, Digitimes cites “sources in Apple’s supply chain” who claim that Apple could use the technology in future devices thanks to improvements in yield rates for the in-cell panels.

iPhone 5 to be released in October with Qualcomm LTE chip, analyst says

According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, Qualcomm is likely to release the next-gen iPhone in the fall due to supply issues with its 28-nanometer LTE chip.

However, he believes that the company will still be able to offer 4G LTE support for a fourth-quarter launch of an iPhone 5.

“It is more likely the phone launches in October given Qualcomm commentary around 28nm chip supply,” Munster said, as cited by Apple Insider. “We believe Apple will include LTE in the iPhone 5 as an important feature in the product update.”

iPhone 5 could feature Liquidmetal technology

Korean site ETNews.com reported this week that the next iPhone could be made from a material called liquidmetal.

The site claims that the iPhone 5 will be made of zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper “and so forth” and it will have a “surface smooth like liquid.”

The material is very durable, light, it’s scratch resistant and it is said to be as smooth as liquid or glass to the touch.

This also means that a handset using the technology is less likely to be broken when dropped.

What liquidmetal could mean for the iPhone 5

Liquidmetal was discovered in 1992 at the California Institute of Technology and it’s a mix of zirconium, titanium, nickel and copper, as well as other metals.

Its most important features include high strength, high resistance to scratching and denting, as well as an efficient strength-to-weight ratio, and it is said to be as smooth as liquid or glass to the touch.

This also means that a handset using the technology is less likely to be broken when dropped.

So far Apple has used Liquidmetal’s material for the iPhone 4 SIM card ejector tool and some North American first-generation iPads.

In addition, a liquidmetal case would allow for a slimmer profile and a distinction from other smartphones which are currently made of various types of plastic.