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Apple sampling touchscreen panels for iMac Touch?

updated 05:20 am EDT, Fri October 1, 2010

Simtek sending sample displays to Cupertino

A new report has surfaced claiming that Sintek Photronic, a well-known supplier of large touchscreen panels, has sent samples to Cupertino for testing. It's purported that the panels are destined for pre-production versions of a forthcoming touchscreen-based iMac. The latest news adds weight to the once-idle rumors circulating in recent months that Apple plans on adding a third iMac model to its current range of 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac offerings.

According to the DigiTimes story, the sample displays are projected capacitive touch panels. Simtek has the production capability to supply the screens Apple may require. Using a new layering method, perhaps developed by Apple itself, the touch sensors would be integrated into the glass, rather than layered on top. This would make for a thinner, lighter panel that also maintains wide viewing angles. Apple's current line of iMac use high-quality IPS displays with 178 degree viewing angles, making the preservation of viewing angles a likely priority for any touchscreen iMac.

Just last month, it was revealed that Apple has applied for a patent covering a hybrid iMac interface with a special hinge allowing it to be used in a traditional mouse and keyboard mode, or in touch mode. The proposal also refers to special sensors such as accelerometers that would automatically sense the different screen orientation and would intuitively switch modes. There is even a suggestion that when in touchscreen mode, the iMac may transition from OS X to iOS, in a move likely aimed to leverage the runaway success of Apple's iOS operating system and App Store.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. facebook_Reedr

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010

    0

    hmm..

    ok. why? graphic design, ya. but why for everybody else? unless it's a 21" ipad that doubles as an imac.

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    -1

    I hope Apple has got working prototypes

    ready because I'm sure every computer company is going to be announcing horizontal touch screen computers before long.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    -1

    The beginning of the end

    The story is beginning to play out. Mac OS X is slowly walking into sunset and iOS is getting ready to replace it. It is NOT ready yet, but, judging by the pace of its growth from three years ago until now, in a year or two, it will have all the features of a competent desktop OS. By then, we'll likely see Apple port (or re-develop, from the ground up) all of their home and pro apps (iLife, iWork, FCE, FCS, Aperture, Logic Studio, etc) to the multi-touch iOS. And I have no doubt, as soon as Adobe sees the writing on the wall, they will go (kicking and screaming) and port their CS package. Same goes for MS Office. Once these three are committed to the iOS as the desktop OS, the other smaller players will surely follow; after all, by then, there will likely be over 200 million iOS devices out there (I know, you can't exactly expect to run AfterEffects on an iPod...).

    Mouse navigation is rapidly progressing to its rightful place in the museum of desktop computing. It served us well, but it is time for it to go. Apple and iOS will take it there.

  1. dmsimmer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    -1

    Control

    I would much rather see this as an input device. Even on the Enterprise, their view screen was separate. Imagine all of the pallets assembled at your hands while your monitor was free of clutter (i.e. Ribbons). I would tap on the Red value of an RGB pallet, and a 10-key widget pops up right next to it.

    Hmm. What's the telephone number to the Patent Office? :P

  1. Paul Huang

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 1999

    0

    How about a smaller one?

    For schools, classroom and language labs' materials are generally still 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768, so it would make sense to produce a 1680 x 1050 model. Much of the existing programs on the 21.5" just occupies a small portion of the screen. It's a waste of virtual desktop space and real desktop space.

    I'd go for a 17" touch screen model.

    http://www.uspto.gov/about/contacts/index.jsp

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: The beginning of the end

    To what purpose? Just to go "Look at us, we're all touch-screen!" even though most people can't stand large touch screens (gorilla arm, people), and trying to do anything sensitive is impossible with a touch screen (just trying to position to a place in a movie is one big pain in the a**).

    And it's nice to believe that these magical iPads have the horsepower to perform desktop duties, but that's not even close to true. They're barely good enough to do web browsing without choking at times.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: The beginning of the end

    Oh, and if it is the beginning of the end, should we all just shift to Windows? Are all the people with years and $$$ of OS X software and hardware going to just throw it all away for new hardware so they can do what they can do now, but with a finger?

  1. brainiac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003

    0

    A touchscreen has its uses but

    you lose a lot of precision and your body parts are in front of the object you need to look at. Sort of like a butter knife vs a scalpel. Or like my damn calculus teacher who would stand in front of the board as he was writing and explaining.

    I have no problem using a mouse.

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