iPhone 5 to utilize in-cell touch technology for thinner screen

According to the latest report from the iPhone rumor mill, Apple's iPhone 5 will reportedly implement in-cell touch technology which will allow for a markedly thinner screen.

According to a report this morning from the Wall Street Journal, Apple's next-gen iPhone will implement in-cell touch technology which will allow for a markedly thinner screen.

The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer. The absence of the layer, usually about half a millimeter thick, not only makes the whole screen thinner, but the quality of displayed images would improve, said DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase...

For Apple, the new technology would also simplify the supply chain and help cut costs as it would no longer have to buy touch panels and LCD panels from separate suppliers.

The first report indicating that Apple was exploring in-cell touch display technology came back in April when the Taiwan Central News Agency website reported as much, adding that the "touch panels that use in-cell technology can be made thinner because the touch sensors are actually placed inside the color filters rather than on top of them."

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So yes, this is just the latest in a string of reports all pointing towards an iPhone 5 with a thinner form factor. Back in May, for example, the typically reliable Jason Horwitz of iLounge reported that the iPhone 5 will be approximately 7.4mm thick, a significant reduction from the 9.3mm thickness on the iPhone 4S. This has since been "verified" by alleged case moldings and engineering samples that have leaked over the past few weeks.

And as a quick comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S III is measures 8.6mm thick.

"The LCD industry has been working on the in-cell touch technology for several years," the Journal notes. "For LCD panel makers like Sharp, Japan Display and LG Display, Apple's iPhone provides the environment where they can demonstrate their latest technological progress to show that LCD screens can continue to evolve and stay competitive against OLED displays."

Earlier this week, the Japanese Mac Blog Macotakara reported that the iPhone 5 recently entered production in China, which,  if true, would point to a release date sometime this fall. Given Apple's typical refresh cycles, it stands to reason that the iPhone 5 will be released in early October at the latest or perhaps late September at the earliest.

Lastly, the iPhone 5, in addition to a larger screen and thinner form factor, will reportedly support 4G LTE as well.

via WSJ

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