(CBS News) Apple's next iPhone may have a thinner screen, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.
The next iPhone screen will be made by three companies - Sharp, Japan Display and LG Display - the Journal said, citing sources close to the matter.
Using technology that reportedly integrates sensors into liquid crystal displays (LCD), the need for a separate touch-screen layer may be eliminated, shaving off about half a millimeter of thickness.
The change of manufacturer is said to be a move to be more competitive against Samsung. The companies are two of the top smartphone makers in the industry.
Previous rumors surrounding Apple's next iPhone range from a larger screen to a smaller "nano" model.
In May, the blog iLounge reported a rumor that new iPhone will be longer and thinner than previous iPhone models.
"Approximate measurements are 125 mm by 58.5 mm by 7.4 mm - a 10 mm jump in height, nearly 2 mm reduction in thickness, and virtually identical width," an unnamed source told iLounge.
The blog also said Apple's new iPhone will use Gorilla Glass 2, which is slightly thinner than the original and the screen size will bump up to a 4-inch from the traditional 3.5-inches and may sport a metal back, instead of glass.
Then there is talk of the iPhone "nano." In April, a report by the China Times claimed that Apple is planning to release low-cost iPhone "nano" this year. According to the Times, the move aims to make gains on the low-end smartphone market. If the rumors are true, the iPhone "nano" could be released with the next iPhone.
As for when the next iPhone will be released is the million-dollar question. Japanese blogMacotakara claims the next iPhone is already in production, noting that cases are listed on the wholesale site Alibaba.com. However, the data sounds like a stretch, at best.
The iPhone 4S was launched in October last year, which makes a fall release date for the so-called iPhone 5 more realistic.