Apple’s next iPhone will incorporate a new technology to make its screen thinner, the Wall Street Journal has reported. The newspaper cites “people familiar with the matter” who say that components, including slimmer panels, are being mass-produced in Asia by Sharp, LG, and Japan Display.
The new technology, called in-cell, allows LCD displays to integrate touch sensor functionality, effectively eliminating the need for an additional touch-capable layer. Getting rid of the capacitive touch layer would reduce the screen’s thickness and improve image quality on the on the display, DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase told the Journal.
The newspaper’s sources say the LCD manufacturers are struggling with the production process, as the in-cell touch screens are more difficult to manufacture than regular LCD screens.
If the report proves to be true, the iPhone 5’s screen could be comprised of just two layers - an LCD display and a glass panel - instead of the current three.
Rumours have suggested the next iPhone will feature a larger screen size of at least 4in. Reducing its thickness would allow Apple to keep the device lightweight while increasing its display size. It would also streamline the company’s supply chain and reduce costs by eliminating an extra step, and an extra vendor, for the touch panels.
A report in April predicted that Apple planned to incorporate in-cell technology into its next-gen iPhone.
The device is expected to launch in the autumn, with some analysts pointing specifically to September. Its main competitor, Samsung’s 4.5in Galaxy S3, was released at the end of May.