As speculation surrounding Apple’s next-generation iPhone continues to mount, AppleInsider this afternoon relays a report – (via industry analysts) – which appears to agree wholeheartedly with those recent rumors that Apple could have plans to include ‘In-Cell Touch Panel’ technology in the next iteration of the iPhone, courtesy of Sharp and Toshiba.
In short, an ‘In-Cell Touch Panel’ is just marketing talk for a display which sees the touch sensor(s) used to read and calculate a user’s input, embedded into the actual TFT LCD display itself.
This, the report notes, could see the overall thickness of the smartphone reduced by up to 0.44mm, due to these sensors no longer having to be placed underneath the display – thus taking up less space in the region now currently used to house the screen.
Citing “sources in Apple’s supply chain,” DigiTimes originally noted in its report that a sudden improvement in yield rates in relation to in-cell touch panels at both Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display was the reason that had “persuaded Apple to choose to cooperate with Japan-based panel makers.”
The adoption of the in-cell touch panels, if realized, will also have a significant impact on the operations of Apple’s current touch panel suppliers TPK Holdings and Wintek, which are specialized in the production of glass on glass touch solutions currently, said the sources.
Sources at the time also hinted that both of these manufacturers could also be working on something called TOL (or Touch On Lens), which is a “single-glass touch solution,” designed to be “more suitable for the production of high-end customized devices.”
It is so far unclear if the next iteration of the iPhone will feature such technology.