Apple has reportedly teamed up with Japanese tech titans Sony and Hitachi to produce 4-inch displays for a new iOS device, presumably the iPhone 5, set to be released in 2012.

Japanese Apple news site macotakara.jp reckons that the two companies have already shipped the new LCD screens to Cupertino.

If the reports are true, it would be another step towards confirming that the next generation iPhone will have the 4-inch display many users hoped would arrive with the iPhone 4S.

Sharing the load

AppleInsider points out that Apple has history of sharing the manufacturing load around multiple partners, with reports last week claiming that Sharp is building a LCD display for the third-gen iPad model.

The site claims that Apple has invested a "significant amount" in Sharp's factories to enable them to produce IGZO displays, which will allow the device to be thinner and offer better battery life.

Jeffries analyst Peter Misek said: "IGZO technology is perfect in that it offers near-OLED power consumption while having a lower cost and thinness that is only 25% greater than OLED, based on our checks."

Meanwhile macotakara.jp also reckons a Taiwanese company (as yet unspecified) is working on LCD screens for Apple for a "fundamentally changed" iPad 4.

Of course, all of the above remains unconfirmed and should, at the moment, be considered no more than interesting speculation.

Via: AppleInsider (macotakara)