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Tuesday November 29, 2011 11:11 am

Sony and Hitachi begin to ship 4-Inch iPhone 5 displays

iPhone 5

Apple is still working out the kinks with its new iPhone 4S, but that's not stopping the rumor mill from generating speculation about the next smartphone due out at a time and place unknown from the Cupertino tech giant, probably known as the iPhone 5.

The next iOS handset will likely have a 4-inch display, according to Macotaraka.

Hitachi and Sony have "started to ship 4-inch LCD [displays] for [a] new iOS device," the blog reported Sunday, citing an anonymous source. And that's not all—the two companies are also shipping LCD screens for the iPad 3, according to Macotakara. Rumor has it that the next-generation tablet will be the first iPad to use Apple's high pixel-density Retina Display technology.

If Apple is sourcing next-generation iOS device displays from Hitachi and Sony, it would mean the company is abandoning the Taiwan-based display makers it currently uses to supply such parts. Currently, TPK supplies about two-thirds of the touch panels for the iPhone 4S, while Wintek makes about a quarter, and Chimei Innolux makes the rest, according to reports.

Hitachi and Sony are part of a trio of Japanese companies set to merge their mobile display businesses in the first half of 2012. Toshiba is the third member of a proposed merger that is officially set to form "Japan Display" sometime in the spring.

Meanwhile, SlashGear takes note of earlier leaks that point to Apple lengthening the iPhone 5 by about 8 millimeters, another clue pointing to a larger screen for the next iOS handset.

There's also some gossip floating around that the iPad's teardrop-shaped case design won't be used for the iPhone 5 because it wouldn't accommodate a 4G LTE chipset plus a battery large enough to power it.

This article, written by Damon Poeter, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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