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WSJ reaffirms Apple's next iPhone will feature thinner in-cell touchscreen

post #1 of 31
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Corroborating numerous earlier reports, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Apple's sixth-generation iPhone will feature new touchscreen technology that will allow the screen to be even thinner.

The screen is reportedly already being manufactured by component makers in Apple's Asian supply chain ahead of an anticipated fall launch of the new iPhone. Specifically, Sharp, LG and Japan Display Inc. are all said to be assembling the new panels utilizing in-cell technology.

The new screens integrate the touch sensors into the LCD itself, which allows the screen to be thinner by eliminating the need for a separate touchscreen layer. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo with KGI Securities first indicated to AppleInsider in April that in-cell touch technology could allow Apple to reduce the thickness of the display by as much as 0.44 millimeters.

A thinner display could allow Apple to make the device thinner, or using the same thickness the company could fit in a slightly larger battery. In-cell technology could also help offset the added weight that would come from a larger 4-inch display that Apple is expected to utilize in its next iPhone.

Claims that Apple plans to use in-cell touch panels for its next-generation iPhone first surfaced from the sometimes-reliable DigiTimes earlier this year. That report also pegged Sharp as a likely supplier of the new screens.

In-cell technology


More evidence of Apple's switch to in-cell touch panels came earlier this month, when touch panel supplier Wintek announced its June sales were down an unusually high 33.6 percent month over month. That was interpreted as a sign that the company may have lost out on key orders for Apple's next-generation iPhone.

Analyst Brian White with Topeka Capital Markets noted that over the last seven years, Wintek's June sales increased on average 1 percent month over month. The 33.6 percent drop was the largest month-over-month sales drop seen since late 2006.

Currently, the iPhone and iPad use glass-on-glass touch solutions provided by Wintek and TPK holdings. Wintek, which does not offer in-cell touch technology, is estimated to have previously generated more than 50 percent of its sales from Apple.
post #2 of 31

While welcomed news, and this may be new to the iPhone (and maybe even LCDs in general?), I'm not sure why this is such big news this morning. From a technological standpoint Super AMOLED panels have been in-cell for 2 years now.

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post #3 of 31
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Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

While welcomed news, and this may be new to the iPhone (and maybe even LCDs in general?), I'm not sure why this is such big news this morning. From a technological standpoint Super AMOLED panels have been in-cell for 2 years now.

Its different technology, with the added advantage of 'real' colors.

 

J.

post #4 of 31
Whether the technology is new or not the prospect of an iPhone nearly as thin as the iPod Touch sounds interesting. Honestly the thinnest the large screen plus the LTE will make this one of the biggest hardware updates. I'm hoping for a few more "WOW" features (maybe inductive charging, NFC, or some ofer software feature) but all in all this is looking like a solid update
post #5 of 31

Shut up and take my money?

post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

Whether the technology is new or not the prospect of an iPhone nearly as thin as the iPod Touch sounds interesting. Honestly the thinnest the large screen plus the LTE will make this one of the biggest hardware updates. I'm hoping for a few more "WOW" features (maybe inductive charging, NFC, or some ofer software feature) but all in all this is looking like a solid update

 

Unfortunately, the thinness we are talking about with this technology is only on the order of a half a millimetre or so in savings.  

 

It's not a big deal, it won't save that much space in the iPhone at all nor will it let the iPhone be manufactured in as thin a form factor as the iPod touch.  Why we are treated to endless articles about this very un-amazing, un-interesting, blasé technology I don't know.  

post #7 of 31

the whole thin thing is over.  what is the big benefit of a slightly thinner phone?  It's a talking point, not a benefit to consumers.  Give us more battery and longer talk times. 

post #8 of 31

It's impossible, even with in-cell tech to make the iPhone as thin as the iPod touch. With LTE, possible NFC (lets hope not), better GPU/CPU and an actual camera, it is just to much extra. 

 

 


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post #9 of 31

This is a sick obsession with thin! Who cares about that??? My iPhone 4 is already thin enough, I don't need thinner. I need better battery so they could use this to put a bigger battery. A selling point for me would also be the inclusion of NFC since Orange has already started tests with NFC in my country and they lend Blackberry phones for the tests for now. I want NFC! But if they come in October and say: "Hey, look, this is the iPhone 5, it's thinneeeeeer!!!", then I'm sticking with my perfectly good iPhone 4.

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post

This is a sick obsession with thin! Who cares about that??? 

 

+1

 

I just received my BTO Mac Pro Retina (replacing an old 17" MBP).

You know what? I prefer the thickness of the 17" over the new model. With my fat figures it's a whole lot harder to open the thing up and it doesn't feel comfortable when I carry it (it feels like it wants to slip out of my hands all the time).

 

I realize that a *lot* of people are enamored with "thin is in" for computer (and phone) gear, but some of us don't really care.

Magsafe 2, lack of ethernet port, lack of firewire port (okay, I can live with a dongle for that one), etc., just wasn't worth a few millimeters. I think I can get buy without the optical drive (well, with an external drive, anyway), but I'm not convinced that the thinness of the MBPR was worth the port arrangement and dongle requirement.

 

Just my 2cents.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

It's impossible, even with in-cell tech to make the iPhone as thin as the iPod touch. With LTE, possible NFC (lets hope not), better GPU/CPU and an actual camera, it is just to much extra. 

The iPod Touch is 7.2mm thick. The Droid Razr, which includes LTE and camera, is 7.1mm thick. Considering the new iPhone screen is rumored to be 4.1" or thereabouts, giving them more interior space to work with, I think it could come in at the about the same thickness as the Touch if it was that important to Apple. 

http://www.motorola.com/us/consumers/DROID-RAZR-BY-MOTOROLA/78281,en_US,pd.html?selectedTab=tab-2&cgid=mobile-phones

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post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The iPod Touch is 7.2mm thick. The Droid Razr, which includes LTE and camera, is 7.1mm thick. Considering the new iPhone screen is rumored to be 4.1" or thereabouts, giving them more interior space to work with, I think it could come in at the about the same thickness as the Touch if it was that important to Apple. 

http://www.motorola.com/us/consumers/DROID-RAZR-BY-MOTOROLA/78281,en_US,pd.html?selectedTab=tab-2&cgid=mobile-phones

The Razr is not 7.1mm where the camera is.

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post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The iPod Touch is 7.2mm thick. The Droid Razr, which includes LTE and camera, is 7.1mm thick. Considering the new iPhone screen is rumored to be 4.1" or thereabouts, giving them more interior space to work with, I think it could come in at the about the same thickness as the Touch if it was that important to Apple. 

http://www.motorola.com/us/consumers/DROID-RAZR-BY-MOTOROLA/78281,en_US,pd.html?selectedTab=tab-2&cgid=mobile-phones

No, the Droid Razr is 11.1 mm thick on the bump. If the new iPhone includes an actual camera it cannot be the thinness or the iPod touch. 

 

 


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post #14 of 31

It's not about how thin they could get the phone but instead have more space or less weight to include other features like larger screen or bigger battery.

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

No, the Droid Razr is 11.1 mm thick on the bump. If the new iPhone includes an actual camera it cannot be the thinness or the iPod touch. 

Thanks for that. Forgot all about the "bump". If you include that, which you should, even the HTC Evo 4G LTE, at 8.9mm (.35") thick including camera, beats the Razr in the thinness category.

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post #16 of 31
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Thanks for that. Forgot all about the "bump". If you include that, which you should, even the HTC Evo 4G LTE, at 8.9mm (.35") thick including camera, beats the Razr in the thinness category.

Max is 9 mm and s3 is 8.6mm

Manufactures should all do 4k batteries
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Unfortunately, the thinness we are talking about with this technology is only on the order of a half a millimetre or so in savings.  

It's not a big deal, it won't save that much space in the iPhone at all nor will it let the iPhone be manufactured in as thin a form factor as the iPod touch.  Why we are treated to endless articles about this very un-amazing, un-interesting, blasé technology I don't know.  
Accoring to graphics at other sites the phone will be almost as thin as the Touch. Whether these graphics are true or not is another thing.

http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/04/iphone_in_cell_thickness.jpg
Edited by blackbook - 7/17/12 at 9:02am
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post


Max is 9 mm and s3 is 8.6mm
Manufactures should all do 4k batteries

The S3 is even thinner than the EVO, but with a larger battery? Did not realize that. Thanks for the mention.


Edited by Gatorguy - 7/17/12 at 9:07am
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post #19 of 31
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Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

Accoring to graphics at other sites the phone will be almost as thin as the Touch. Whether these graphics are true or not is another thing.
http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/04/iphone_in_cell_thickness.jpg

 

Maybe all the graphics and pictures of parts posted on sites claiming the next iPhone will be like an iPod Touch are simply graphics and pictures of parts related to the next iPod Touch.

 

I do think that space saved from the screen would be best applied to increasing 4G battery life rather than making the device thinner.

post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmantle View Post

the whole thin thing is over.  what is the big benefit of a slightly thinner phone?  It's a talking point, not a benefit to consumers.  Give us more battery and longer talk times. 

 

I suspect that that is the point here. I don't agree that Apple will ever try to make a phone that is as thin as the iPod touch. any scant savings in thinness will be rolled over to either more storage, more battery, new chipsets to serve more carriers, different backlight to facilitate outdoor use that doesn't totally suck or a combo of these types of things. I could also see all this talk of a slightly longer phone being due to such things and the actual display not changing in the process in terms of its length. just half a CM at the top and bottom for adding a couple of internal bits around or slightly more battery etc

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post #21 of 31

Its seems the the WSJ is simply the mouth piece for Apple when they want something "leaked" to generate buzz or in the case of the next iPhone build up user acceptance (for those who don't want a larger iPhone) for the larger 4" screen.  This is hardly real news and nothing we haven't heard rumored for months.  Given that Apple has the ability to push out newer technology that costs the same or relatively little more than prior technology (given their purchase volume and up front contracts with suppliers) it seems Apple is simply confirming what we suspected via the WSJ.

 

Now if the WSJ actually posted a picture or specific details of the next iPhone outside of Apple provided press material then it would be a major scoop and major news.

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post

This is a sick obsession with thin! Who cares about that??? My iPhone 4 is already thin enough, I don't need thinner. I need better battery so they could use this to put a bigger battery. A selling point for me would also be the inclusion of NFC since Orange has already started tests with NFC in my country and they lend Blackberry phones for the tests for now. I want NFC! But if they come in October and say: "Hey, look, this is the iPhone 5, it's thinneeeeeer!!!", then I'm sticking with my perfectly good iPhone 4.

 

I have to carry a lot of gear so I like thin but I agree that the iPhone 4 series is thin enough. I'll keep a half CM of thickness for more battery etc. Same with the iPad. I think the 2 and 3 are fine. I'd rather more battery, better backlights (I work outside basically all the time) etc. In fact I'd happily take a couple of MM more on the iPad if it meant they were using some kind of antiglare stronger glass that might not shatter the first time I drop the thing or something lightly bangs it in my gear bags. Same with the iPhone. I think a lot of folks would

 

As for NFC, it's a wash here in the States so I'm not really caring about it. Sure if the iPhone includes it and places I go support it I'll likely use it but if its not I'm not crying. I'm not likely to up to the iPhone 2012 simply cause I don't really do that much on my phone that it is worth replacing it with anything since ATT is dropping their early update pricing. I just switched my 3gs to a 4s last fall. So I'll be barely a year in. I do most of my stuff on my iPad and might not even get another iPhone after this. In fact I think it would be crazy and killer if Apple did release an iPhone Nano. $150 full price (only sold full price and unlocked). World phone for Verizon and Sprint plus GSM. Phone, Messages, Camera, Address Book, Calendar. That's it. Wifi for backing up to iCloud and Messages. Get the carriers to offer it no required data plan for those that are happy with just wifi and SMS etc but really just want the UI. I would actually buy that. 

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post #23 of 31
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Originally Posted by RaptorOO7 View Post

Its seems the the WSJ is simply the mouth piece for Apple when they want something "leaked" to generate buzz 

 

I wouldn't be so sure it's Apple. There are others that would benefit from this info getting out. Like the component suppliers. Being associated with Apple gives them a kind of clout. They could be the ones leaking this, true or false, to encourage other buyers. Lock them in before Apple announces anything that doesn't include said item. Then if someone objects the companies can just say that they never said they were working with Apple, that was just rumors some idiot reporter published. No one can prove otherwise

 

That said, I do think that after the example of the Retina MBP this is a viable possibility though it might not be for the 6th Gen. We'll see in a couple of months

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post #24 of 31
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Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

Accoring to graphics at other sites the phone will be almost as thin as the Touch. Whether these graphics are true or not is another thing.
http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/04/iphone_in_cell_thickness.jpg

 

Well, I read a *lot* of tech sites and I have never seen anyone suggest that.  The new "iPad mini" is supposed to be, but the new iPhone is only supposed to be a millimetre or so thinner at the most.  

 

Also, your link doesn't point to anything that would support your assertion.  It points to a picture very similar to the one accompanying this article which only shows that the new screen is something just short of a half a millimetre thinner.  

post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Well, I read a *lot* of tech sites and I have never seen anyone suggest that.  The new "iPad mini" is supposed to be, but the new iPhone is only supposed to be a millimetre or so thinner at the most.  

Also, your link doesn't point to anything that would support your assertion.  It points to a picture very similar to the one accompanying this article which only shows that the new screen is something just short of a half a millimetre thinner.  
The picture I linked points to a phone that is 7.9mm, which as we know would be far thinner than the current iPhone's thickness and far closer to the thickness of the Touch. There was an article posted here a few months ago that also pointed to a 7.9mm phone.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/23/in_cell_touch_panels_expected_to_shave_04mm_off_apples_next_iphone.html

It would be positive press for Apple to make the phone this thin especially if additional features such as LTE and a larger retina display are added while retaining similar or better battery life.
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

The picture I linked points to a phone that is 7.9mm, which as we know would be far thinner than the current iPhone's thickness and far closer to the thickness of the Touch. There was an article posted here a few months ago that also pointed to a 7.9mm phone.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/23/in_cell_touch_panels_expected_to_shave_04mm_off_apples_next_iphone.html
It would be positive press for Apple to make the phone this thin especially if additional features such as LTE and a larger retina display are added while retaining similar or better battery life.

if apple released a 4+ inch screen with double the battery but the same thickness it would sell fast, but I think no matter what apple does with the iphone 5 it will still sell. New connector will make consumers mad but accessories manufacture happy.

post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

As for NFC, it's a wash here in the States so I'm not really caring about it. Sure if the iPhone includes it and places I go support it I'll likely use it but if its not I'm not crying. I'm not likely to up to the iPhone 2012 simply cause I don't really do that much on my phone that it is worth replacing it with anything since ATT is dropping their early update pricing. I just switched my 3gs to a 4s last fall. So I'll be barely a year in. I do most of my stuff on my iPad and might not even get another iPhone after this. In fact I think it would be crazy and killer if Apple did release an iPhone Nano. $150 full price (only sold full price and unlocked). World phone for Verizon and Sprint plus GSM. Phone, Messages, Camera, Address Book, Calendar. That's it. Wifi for backing up to iCloud and Messages. Get the carriers to offer it no required data plan for those that are happy with just wifi and SMS etc but really just want the UI. I would actually buy that. 
NFC will probably be the "WOW" feature this time around considering Maps has already been revealed with iOS6. If its not NFC it'll probably be inductive charging or something. Neither are new features but I'm sure Apple will make them fresh and unique to wow consumers.

Also neither feature would compel me personally to buy the phone after buying a 4S last year but the larger screen and LTE would be nice.

Aside from that I agree that an iPhone Nano would be great. They need a strong phone to address the prepaid market worldwide that's affordable without data contract etc.
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

The picture I linked points to a phone that is 7.9mm, which as we know would be far thinner than the current iPhone's thickness and far closer to the thickness of the Touch. ... 

 

You are right that I missed this was a diagram of the entire phone (it was similar to the one in this article both in colour and style), but wrong that this is evidence of an iPhone the same thickness of an iPod touch (or anything even close to it.  Your second link also points only to an article that talks about the phone being about a half a millimetre thinner because of the new glass.  Both of these are not just scant evidence of your claim, they aren't evidence at all.  

 

The original diagram you point to just shows that the glass is about a half millimetre thinner and that the backplate might be a little thinner (on no evidence though), and then randomly surmises that the battery will be multiple millimetres thinner making up the difference.  There is no evidence that the battery will be thinner, it's just a random supposition.  I could make a similar diagram with an even thinner battery segment.  

 

It doesn't prove or really mean anything by itself.  It's just someone's guess.

Even then, it doesn't make it as thin as an iPod touch.  

 

Finally, the best way to get an idea of the thickness or thinness of the new iPhone is to look at the leaked unibody back part and simply measure it.  Either the glass will be attached the same way (most likely) or maybe, maybe, it will be flush mounted on that part.  

 

Looked at that way, all things point towards the inescapable conclusion that the next iPhone will only be a millimetre or so thinner than the current one at most.  

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post

This is a sick obsession with thin! Who cares about that??? My iPhone 4 is already thin enough, I don't need thinner. I need better battery so they could use this to put a bigger battery. A selling point for me would also be the inclusion of NFC since Orange has already started tests with NFC in my country and they lend Blackberry phones for the tests for now. I want NFC! But if they come in October and say: "Hey, look, this is the iPhone 5, it's thinneeeeeer!!!", then I'm sticking with my perfectly good iPhone 4.

By making the screen thinner, they have more space for your larger battery! ^_^

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It doesn't prove or really mean anything by itself.  It's just someone's guess.
That's true considering both links were based on analyst estimates and unsubstantiated rumor.

Personally I would like to see Apple to take back the title of "worlds thinnest smartphone" that they claimed in 2010 with the iPhone 4. Since then as we know far thinner phones have come out and it may not be possible for them to reclaim that title but we shall see what they have up their sleeves.

Most here seem content with more features and higher battery capacity and that may be the direction Apple ultimately goes in.
post #31 of 31

We are getting to the point I am gonna need to get an otterbox, just to make sure I have something thick enough to hold on to!

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