updated 06:18 am EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
Evidence mounts for in-cell touch displays in next-gen iPhone
Apple's next-generation iPhone is expected to incorporate a new thinner display technology [sub. req.], reports the Wall Street Journal. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the publication reports that Samsung, Apple's strongest smartphone competitor, will not be involved in making the new displays as it does for some other Apple products. Instead, the new display will be produced by Sharp, Japan Display Inc. and LG Display.
The WSJ report corroborates an earlier rumor that surfaced in April courtesy of Digitimes, which said that Apple would drop the traditional glass-on-glass approach to touch screens. Instead, the company is said to have provided specifications to its partners requiring the utilization of in-cell touch panels. The technology places the touch sensors within a displays thin film transistor (TFT) layer, instead of in a separate layer.
While displays using the technology are harder to produce, yield levels are said to be high enough across the board that Apple has decided to pursue the approach. The new display technology will offer two principle benefits. It will help Apple make a thinner device, which has long been a goal of the company with its gadgets, as well as offer better display quality. By removing the additional layer touch layer, the images will appear more immediate and brighter.
Additionally, adoption of the new technology would also go some way to offsetting the weight increase that will come if Apple adopts a larger 4-inch display as is widely expected. It also has the added benefit of simplifying the supply chain, as it removes the need to have a separate partner deliver the touch-enabled layer. The next-gen iPhone is expected to arrive sometime in Q3 this year.