Taiwanese website DigiTimes reports that based on their sources in Apple’s supply chain, Apple may use in-cell touch panels in the next generation iPhone from Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display (TMD).
An improvement in yield rates of the in-cell touch panels at Sharp and TMD has persuaded Apple to choose to cooperate with Japan-based panel makers, the sources noted.
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.
Sharp and Toshiba are expected to ramp up production on the in-cell touch panels in second quarter of 2012.
Compared with on-cell technology, 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.
He believes that though Taiwanese panel makers who have focused on “glass on glass touch solutions” so far, are developing the in-cell technology, Japanese companies such as Sharp and TMD will have an advantage.
We all know how passionate Apple is about making their next generation devices thinner, so the use of thinner in-cell touch panels in the next iPhone cannot be ruled out completely, though we must note that DigiTimes does not have a good track record when it comes to Apple rumors.
According to recent rumors, the next iPhone will be coming in fall 2012, which will feature the same 3.5-inch screen or very close to it, support 4G LTE networks and come with a new micro dock connector.