A report had surfaced a few days ago stating that Apple would put in-cell touch panels on their upcoming iPhone. This speculation has been backed further by a report from Apple Insider where they state that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also put his thoughts forward regarding the in-cell touch panel and he believes that Apple may indeed use this new technology for the displays of their next iPhone. The report states that the present iPhone is 9.3mm thick and by embedding this technology in the display, the upcoming iPhone could be slimmer by 0.44mm. He explained that this can be achieved by removing the separate touch sensor layer and one layer of adhesive and by adding this new display design which features the touch sensor in the TFT LCD.

Could be considerably thinner

Could be considerably thinner

The report goes on to state that in order to keep up with the thin smartphone designs from rival manufacturers, Apple could launch their the sixth generation iPhone with a metal back thus reducing the thickness further by 0.96mm to give it a depth of 7.90mm. The report goes on to state, “The analyst also cited “more efficient supply chain management” and improved production yield as reasons that Apple would adopt the in-cell technology. With the current glass-on-glass design, bonding occurs at a late stage in the production process, thereby resulting in “significant losses” if the bonding fails. Kuo believes in-cell production is quicker and more efficient because bonding comes earlier in the process. The new process would require an estimated three semi-finished items at bonding, compared to the six required to produce the iPhone 4S. Additionally, production procedures could be cut from eight to five. The analyst also suggested that the number of production days required could drop from 12 to 16 to three to five.”

An earlier report indicated that Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display (TMD) will manufacture these in-cell touch panels for Apple. Other rumours regarding the upcoming Apple iPhone include a liquidmetal back panel, LTE support, NFC capabilities and a smaller dock.

Let us know your thoughts on the possibility of Apple launching a slimmer handset in the comments section below.

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