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iPhone 5 could have 'in-cell' touch tech for slimmer build

The new iPhone is tipped to pack 'in-cell' touch technology, which reduces the need for extra sensors and glass.

The next iPhone is tipped to pack a new kind of touch display, which could make the anticipated smart phone a little bit slimmer and lighter.

Apple is eyeing up 'in-cell' touch panels made by the likes of Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display, that build touch-tech into thin-film-transistor (TFT) LCD manufacturing, according to Digitimes.

By squeezing touchy-feely technology into the LCD display itself, CNET reports, Apple could avoid using things like extra sensors or glass, making its next miracle mobile just a tiny bit skinnier.

The report also tips the iPhone 5 -- which based on Apple's recent naming follies will be probably be officially dubbed the 'next iPhone' -- for a release in the third quarter of the year.

Weirdly enough, the next iPhone will likely either come out in June or October. That's because traditionally Apple's chosen June to reveal its new blowers -- up until last year, when it unveiled the iPhone 4S in October.

Nothing about the next iPhone is confirmed yet, so take all this with a mouthful of salt. However, after the modest upgrade that was the iPhone 4S, I'm sure many gadgeteers out there would love to see Apple trying something a bit more off-the-wall this time around.

Earlier this week, reports suggested that Apple's next phone would be crafted out of something called Liquidmetal, which is an alloy that's reckoned to be extremely tough, and can be shaped into crazy shapes. Will the next iPhone finally ditch the metal-surround aesthetic that's been in place since the iPhone 4 came out in 2010?

Whatever it's made of, the question of the year is whether the next iPhone can stand toe-to-toe with Samsung's Galaxy S3, due to be launched in just a few weeks. Which smart phone will have the clout to go the distance? Let me know what you reckon in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.