Apple’s next iteration of its massively popular smartphone, the iPhone 5, will not only have a bigger display but also a thinner one, a new report suggests.
As per the usual “people familiar with the matter,” the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the iPhone 5 display will use a new technology which makes it thinner than the displays used in previous iPhones.
According to the publications, its unnamed sources have revealed that the iPhone 5 will be equipped with display panels produced using “in-cell” technology.
What this technology offers is a way produce display panels which has fewer components.
Traditionally, display panels – such as those used in current touch screen smartphones, use a separate layer for detecting touch.
As such, these displays are thicker compared to “in-cell” displays as the latter doesn’t use a separate touch panel layer.
“The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer,” the Journal says.
“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,” the publication added.
The use of “in-cell” displays in the iPhone 5 will make more room for components which could mean that the iPhone 5 may be endowed with a larger battery for example or could be taken advantage by Apple to produce a thinner device.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal also says that the iPhone 5 display panels featuring “in-cell” technology are already being produced.
The iPhone 5 displays are being manufactured by Japan Display (a joint venture of Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba), LG, and Sharp.
Notably out of this list is Samsung which used to be the biggest supplier of touch screens for the iPhone and the iPad. Apple is currently locked in a bruising legal battle with the South Korean consumer electronics giant in more than 10 countries involving dozens of lawsuits.
However, the report also says that “in-cell” displays are hard to make and that the manufacturers are having a hard time making it.
The Wall Street Journal says that “in-cell touch screens are harder to manufacture than conventional LCD screens.”
“The people familiar with the situation said that LCD makers are finding the manufacturing process challenging and time-consuming as they scramble to achieve high yield rates,” it adds.
Other notable information from the Journal’s report includes a mention of the iPhone 5 having a bigger display.
Back in May, we reported here that rumors indicate that Apple will produce the iPhone 5 with a larger screen. The iPhone 4S, the phone which the iPhone 5 follows, uses a 3.5-inch Retina Display screen, the same size since the debut of the iPhone 5 years ago.
Another report in May, which we also covered here, pointed to a more definite size – 4 inches – for the iPhone 5 screen. Furthermore, this screen will also be a Retina Display unit as it will have a resolution of 1,136 x 640 pixels, the report said then.
This isn’t the first time the iPhone 5 is reported to incorporate an “in-cell” display, however, as back in May, DigiTimes reported that the display of the next Apple iPhone will indeed be an “in-cell” unit.
According to the site then, production of “in-cell” units had increased in yield rates prompting Apple to be interested in the technology but it seems from the Wall Street Journal’s report that the makers of “in-cell” display panels are still having a hard time getting the yield rates they target.
The iPhone 5, which was reported to have a design the late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs “worked closely” on, is expected to debut in October.
Images from Martin uit Utrecht on Flickr