'iPhone 12' could get bigger battery because of smaller circuitry

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2019
A reduction in the size of an essential battery protection circuit for the iPhone could mean that Apple has room to include bigger batteries in the 2020 "iPhone 12" series.

Alongside the battery itself, iPhones have circuitry to prevent overcharging
Alongside the battery itself, iPhones have circuitry to prevent overcharging (Image source: iFixit)


Sources within the supply chain claim that the "iPhone 12" expected to be released in late 2020 will feature smaller battery-related circuitry. The custom battery Protection Module Package (PMP) which governs charging is said to be both 50% smaller and thinner. The difference could mean that Apple will be able to increase the size of the battery.

According to The Elec, a Korean website, the reduction and redesign has been done by South Korea's ITM Semiconductor. The company reportedly first supplied the protection module to Apple for the iPhone 11, although it already provides components for the AirPods Pro.

ITM Semiconductor is said to currently be one of three suppliers making what are called Protection Circuit Modules or PCMs. Compeq in Taiwan and MinebeaMitsumi in Japan have also made them for Apple. However, what ITM Semiconductor has redesigned is a Protection Module Package (PMP) which appears to be unique to the company.

It's this new PMP which is smaller and so may provide extra room for battery space. Separate reports, though, say that 5G in the forthcoming iPhones will require larger circuit boards which may mean there's still no more space for larger batteries.

Forthcoming 5G iPhones are expected to need larger, more costly motherboards
Forthcoming 5G iPhones are expected to need larger, more costly motherboards


ITM Semiconductor is reportedly due to complete work on a third plant in Vietnam which is intended to be used solely for Apple. The company is said to be planning a fourth plant and it's also possible that the PMP will be used in tablets and computers as well as phones.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    hodarhodar Posts: 337member
    IMHO, you can simply never have a battery life that is "too long".  Would anyone complain about a battery life that was measured in weeks?

    Maybe it's just me, but I cannot imagine a significant number of customers saying "This battery lasts weeks, why didn't they make the phone thinner, instead of having it last so long?"
    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 2 of 6
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,545member
    Smaller circuit makes very small difference for saving space on motherboard. But, when more discrete chips(WiFi,BT,4G/5G modem,etc) functionality get integrated on single SOC, you save space on motherboard so motherboard is smaller which provides extra space for other things like battery.

    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobrallama
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Different people, have different requirements, but I know I’m not alone in preferring smaller, thinner, lighter phones. At this point, I just charge my Xs every 2-3 days, when it needs it, because I spend most of my time not far from an outlet. But I do sleep every night, so I could always charge it overnight if my battery only lasted 30-40% of what it does now. Of course if you don’t live or work in areas with good cell reception, or use something like GPS all day without plugging it in, you need more capacity. Most people who can afford an iPhone have regular access to electricity, at home and perhaps at work and in their cars, so I don’t really believe most of them would want a clunkier phone with a battery 5-10x the current size. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 6
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,268member
    hodar said:
    IMHO, you can simply never have a battery life that is "too long".  Would anyone complain about a battery life that was measured in weeks?

    Maybe it's just me, but I cannot imagine a significant number of customers saying "This battery lasts weeks, why didn't they make the phone thinner, instead of having it last so long?"

    Nope!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,268member
    "Forthcoming 5G iPhones are expected to need larger, more costly motherboards" 

    Aye, there's the rub! A technology that everyone is clamoring for because the telecoms tell us we need it, yet no one has any idea how it will be used or how it will improve their life. It's a pretty safe bet, however that, at least in the early versions, it will cost more both financially and in terms of performance, battery life, etc. Just like with 4G modems, I expect the designs to improve in terms of efficiency, size, integration, but until then, the early adopters will pay a price for their 5G experience.
    edited December 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 6
    MplsP said:

    Nope!
    The G.I. Joe (Cobra) figure, Firefly, had this as an accessory. It was one of the coolest accessories ever for a toy!
    watto_cobra
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