One of the most cited Apple rumors so far this year is that the company will introduce the world to the new iPhone on September 12. The specific date is of course still the subject of speculation, but what is really adding fuel to the fire are recent comments from the president of Sharp.
Takashi Okuda blatantly talked about the new iPhone in his most recent quarterly earnings call. When discussing the iPhone 5 display, which Sharp is manufacturing, Okuda said, "Shipments will start in August."
The only real solid, tangible detail about the new iPhone that has leaked through the rumor mill is it will have technology that would allow the company to integrate both the touch sensor and the actual LCD panel in one component.
As the iPhone construction stands now, these two parts of the phone are separate pieces, meaning the touch sensor is an individual component that sits on top of the display itself.
If it could combine those into one piece of technology, it would be able to shave off a significant chunk of the device's size. Keep in mind we're already talking about a very thin phone, so a "significant chunk" could just be a couple tenths of a millimeter.
In addition to making a sleeker phone, though, this would also help Apple with production. It could potentially cut back the lead time to make an iPhone from around two weeks to just 3 - 5 days.
The reason this has not been implemented in earlier iPhone designs is that the technology just wasn't quite there yet and would have added on too much of an unnecessary cost. In the long run, though, it might now be at the point where doing so would actually save money for Apple.
Meanwhile, other rumors have suggested that the new iPhone will have the largest display of any iPhone. But it seems this speculation will go away soon when Apple lits the veil in just a matter of weeks.