Apple May Use In-Cell Touch Panel for the Upcoming iPhone
Another day and one more iPhone rumor, according to DigiTimes, a frequent source for Apple-related rumors, the iPhone maker is preparing for the integration of something called in-cell touch panel, which will be used on the next iPhone model. The panel is currently produced by Toshiba and Sharp, which allows touchscreen smartphone to be nearly weightless, while having drastically thinner form factor compared to devices using other types of touchscreen technology.
The technology still incorporates a standard component of touchscreen display, the TFT (thin film transistor), however, the touch mechanism is placed inside TFT, instead of on top of them, which is commonly employed in current touchscreen devices. The in-cell touch panel allows the removal of a glass layer, allowing the whole touchscreen assembly to be lighter and thinner.
The in-cell touch panel technology could significantly influence the form factor of the next iPhone model and its may also have a similarly significant repercussion to Apple’s partners. Toshiba and Sharp are currently the only producers of in-cell touch panels. This could mean Apple needs to change its suppliers from companies like Wintek and Samsung to any of those Japanese companies.
Adding to the speculation is the use of an innovative technology called LiquidMetal for the body of the next iPhone. LiquidMetal is a special type of a metal alloy that can be injected into the mold at a relatively low temperature, which can be formed into various shapes. By using LiquidMetal, it is possible for Apple to manufacture devices with unibody design efficiently.