Apple’s component manufacturers reportedly working on thinner screen for iPhone

17 Jul 2012

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The iPhone 4S

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Apple’s next iPhone – expected for release in September – is being manufactured with a thinner screen to rival Samsung’s AMOLED displays, reports say.

Sources for The Wall Street Journal say that Sharp, Japan Display and LG Display are all working on LCD panels that use in-cell technology for the next iPhone.

This means that touch sensors will be integrated into the LCD so there is no need for an additional touch-screen layer, meaning the screens will be thinner overall. The difference is only about half a millimetre, but it could have a big impact on display quality.

It will also mean lower costs for Apple by eliminating an unnecessary component that would normally have to be sourced separately.

OLED vs LCD

What will likely be the new iPhone’s biggest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S III, features a Super AMOLED display; that’s 4.8 inches of active-matrix organic light-emitting diode technology. OLED displays tend to be thinner than LCDs, giving the S III one up on Apple’s latest iPhone 4S.

As The Wall Street Journal speculates, a thinner screen could mean either a slimmer device or room to make other components larger, such as the battery. Also, with Apple rumoured to be leaning towards a larger 4-inch display with the new iPhone, making the screen thinner would prevent the device getting any heavier even with this expansion.

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com