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The 2019 iPhone Is Slimming Way own (Report)

Next year's iPhone could be getting thinner, as Apple turns to a new OLED panel that could help the company's efforts to make a more compact model.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

ETNews out of Korea reports that Apple plans to use an OLED panel that integrates touch functionality into the screen itself. Previous iPhones featured a separate touch-sensitive layer, which can add to the thickness of the phone.

The report, spotted by 9to5Mac, says the touch-integrated OLED screen comes from Samsung. Previous rumors about future iPhones suggested Apple would turn to LG for OLED panels, so the touch-integrated screen could be Samsung's effort to keep Apple's business for another round of iPhones.

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The current iPhones are seemingly pretty thin, with the iPhone XR measuring 0.33 inches (8.3mm) thin and the iPhone XS and XS Max offering a depth of 0.3 inches (7.7mm). But that thickness has been creeping upward — 2016's iPhone 7 was 0.29 inches (7.1mm) thin, and the iPhone 6 released two years before was less than 7mm thin.

Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Note 9 are 0.33 and 0.35 inches thin, respectively, so making the iPhone thinner might help Apple's smartphone stand out from other flagships.

That thin design may not be available to every new iPhone, though. ETNews' report says the touch-integrated display may only find its way into one iPhone model due to limited supplies.

Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.