Rumor: Apple evaluating new 'touch-on display' tech for next iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new report out of China claims that Apple is considering a new display technology, dubbed "touch-on," for use in its next iPhone model to address issues with the current "in-cell" display found in the iPhone 5.

Apple has reportedly contracted with Chimei Innolux, Taiwan's largest LCD maker, for the next-generation panels, according to The China Times (via AppAdvice). Apple's interest has reportedly been prompted by alleged "interference problems" with the recently released iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 marked the debut of new touchscreen technology in Apple's smartphone: in-cell touch panels, allowing for a thinner design by combining the touch sensor and display into one component. Rumors of Apple's adoption of in-cell panels swirled in the company's overseas supply chain for months, and proved to be true when the iPhone 5 debuted.





An issue with the iPhone 5 display in which the screen pauses or seemingly ignores touch input was publicized in November. The problem can be seen by rapidly swiping back and forth diagonally on the touchscreen of the iPhone 5, while previous iPhone models did not exhibit this behavior.

Initial reports suggested the iPhone 5 scrolling "glitch" was in fact a hardware issue related to the new iPhone 5 in-cell touch panel. Thursday's report from the Times supports that conclusion, explaining that the technology has embedded the TFT touch panel and touch sensors on the same side, resulting in interference.

Thursday's report also reiterated earlier reports that claimed production issues with the in-cell technology led to supply constraints of the iPhone 5 at launch.

The alternative "touch-on display" technology from Chimei Innolux is said to be both thin and durable, while offering better touch sensing capabilities.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22


    I don't have the issue on my 5 that the video shows.  I think the current tech works fine. 

  • Reply 2 of 22
    My iP5 running 6.1 (10B5126b) will eventually stop scrolling when doing this angled swiping, but that's not exactly what I would consider a problem, given I'm NEVER fast swiping back and forth at an angle in the first place. Is this really a problem? I suppose there might be some ridiculously stupid game that requires you to continuously swipe at an angle fast for an extended time, but come on.

    I see this "problem" as very similar to the problems you see when you strike the glass screen with a hammer. Do something stupid like this, and guess what happens?
  • Reply 3 of 22
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    This is why the "S" version of every iPhone is the best. All the bugs are worked out.
  • Reply 4 of 22

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post



    This is why the "S" version of every iPhone is the best. All the bugs are worked out.


    Depends on what you mean by "best."  A lot of people don't want to buy a product that is nothing more than a polished version of old technology, especially when it requires a 2 year contract and they know the "real" new version is coming in less than 12 months.


     


    That being said, I absolutely love my iPhone 4S and my next upgrade will probably be just in time for the 5S. image

  • Reply 5 of 22
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Yes it's a problem. For games, fast scrolling (to get to the bottom of a big document, and your finger motions aren't going to be perfect nor should they be constrained by a tech issue) and for graphics/painting apps where users are likely to sketch/draw/paint very briskly.

    The hardware should ALWAYS keep up with the user. Same for the OS.
    ALWAYS.

    Making a user accommodate the system is the opposite of human interface design.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member


    Strike 1: Move to Apple Maps.


     


    Strike 2: Move to in-cell touch display


     


    Strike 3: Move production of A6 to TSMC.


     


    Software, hardware, and production.


     


    Apple's got it all! :D

  • Reply 7 of 22
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    I don't have the issue on my 5 that the video shows.  I think the current tech works fine. 
    Oh- you don't have the issue on your phone, so everyone's current tech works fine.

    Thanks for solving the dilemma.


    Back to reality- it's a problem. The video proves it. Others report it. But I'm like the previous poster- I don't play those games, so it doesn't affect me, so I personally don't care. But I can see how others would care.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,653member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post



    This is why the "S" version of every iPhone is the best. All the bugs are worked out.


     


    The problem with this line of reasoning is that the 'S' versions tend to have just as much new technology as the preceding version did. What stays the same is the case. In this instance, if they were to switch to "touch-on" technology instead of "in-cell", it would be entirely new itself.

  • Reply 9 of 22
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    Quote:


    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

    [...]


     


    Strike 3: Move production of A6 to TSMC.


     


    Software, hardware, and production.


     


    Apple's got it all! :D



     


    Yes they do.  And they're taking it away from Samsung.

  • Reply 10 of 22


    My first two iPhone 5's had problems with the touchscreen and even the third has glitches that I never experienced with my iphone4.


     


    Constantly having to tap buttons etc

  • Reply 11 of 22
    bregaladbregalad Posts: 816member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post



    Yes it's a problem. For games, fast scrolling (to get to the bottom of a big document, and your finger motions aren't going to be perfect nor should they be constrained by a tech issue) and for graphics/painting apps where users are likely to sketch/draw/paint very briskly.

    The hardware should ALWAYS keep up with the user. Same for the OS.

    ALWAYS.


     


    Slow response, slow UI updates, clicks registering on the wrong element, swipes misinterpreted as clicks, swipes completely ignored, etc. have been the norm on most platforms for years. There are tens of millions of Android users (pre 4.1) who have never seen their phone keep up with them. Your tolerance for that is low, but the general public seems to be very accepting of hardware/OS combinations that can't keep up.

  • Reply 12 of 22

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post





    Oh- you don't have the issue on your phone, so everyone's current tech works fine.

    Thanks for solving the dilemma.

    Back to reality- it's a problem. The video proves it. Others report it. But I'm like the previous poster- I don't play those games, so it doesn't affect me, so I personally don't care. But I can see how others would care.


     


    You say that because he has not seen this problem everything is OK. I don't read his comment that way at all -- in fact I have not seen any quotes that this happens on all, or even a a couple percent. Before you get you panties all in a bundle again you might consider the comment as it is written and not interpret so much between the lines. Take another pill and breathe slowly.

  • Reply 13 of 22
    So lets get this straight, if your jacking off and happen to be rubbing the screen on a slant at the same time (as you would) you may not be able to see your email properly

    Good catch
  • Reply 14 of 22
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post


     


    You say that because he has not seen this problem everything is OK. I don't read his comment that way at all -- in fact I have not seen any quotes that this happens on all, or even a a couple percent. Before you get you panties all in a bundle again you might consider the comment as it is written and not interpret so much between the lines. Take another pill and breathe slowly.



    How can I read between the lines- it was two sentences.  "I dont have the issue on my phone.  It isnt a problem".  How can it be any more clear?


    That said- I can see how he means "in-cell" might not be the issue, but apparently there is some technical issue involving a good portion of them.


     


    Two your second point- how can you not see any quote that this happens?  You are commenting on a thread dedicated to it.  It just isn't that well known because people rarely, if ever, do that motion- like me. I have never experienced one problem because I dont go "finger crazy" on my phone, but I just recreated what they did, and my 5 did it.  Then I did it to my mother in laws 4S and it didnt do it.  So ummm?

  • Reply 15 of 22
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member


    My iP4 (not "S") routinely ignores touches. Sometimes I have to hit a button ten times before the phone recognizes the input. Sometimes moistening the tip of finger helps, other times it doesn't. I've accepted it as just an incredibly annoying part of the price one pays to realize the positive parts of owning an iPhone.


     


    Is it possible that the touch response issues are not hardware related at all but rather a "software trying to catch up" problem? Or do previous generations of iPhone also have touch screen problems? Or am I the only one?

     

  • Reply 16 of 22
    Of course a new technology just to eliminate a minor glitch which I do not have.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    aiaaia Posts: 179member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

    My iP5 running 6.1 (10B5126b) will eventually stop scrolling when doing this angled swiping, but that's not exactly what I would consider a problem, given I'm NEVER fast swiping back and forth at an angle in the first place. Is this really a problem? I suppose there might be some ridiculously stupid game that requires you to continuously swipe at an angle fast for an extended time, but come on.

    I see this "problem" as very similar to the problems you see when you strike the glass screen with a hammer. Do something stupid like this, and guess what happens?

     

    I don't play games, nor do I purposely scroll at an angle. But I noticed this problem with my iPhone 5 when quickly scrolling up/down through large lists (such as my email inbox) using my thumb. When scrolling fast in this manner the motion is not perfectly vertical, it's at an angle and in fact it's more like an arc. Some folks may dismiss this as a trivial issue. However, this is how I regularly use my phone and it is annoying.

    Anyways, I'm happy to report that after upgrading to 6.0.2 the problem no longer occurs for me.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    envirogenvirog Posts: 188member
    I don't have an iPhone 5, but I do have the iPad mini and it seems to be suffering from a similar problem of not responding to screens taps every so often. I'm keeping an eye on this as I may need to make a genius appointment in the near future.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by v5v View Post


    My iP4 (not "S") routinely ignores touches. Sometimes I have to hit a button ten times before the phone recognizes the input. Sometimes moistening the tip of finger helps, other times it doesn't. I've accepted it as just an incredibly annoying part of the price one pays to realize the positive parts of owning an iPhone.


     


    Is it possible that the touch response issues are not hardware related at all but rather a "software trying to catch up" problem? Or do previous generations of iPhone also have touch screen problems? Or am I the only one?

     



     


    Is this your first iPhone?  If not, did you ever have problems before?


     


    When we were building multi-million dollar casino touchscreen gambling systems in the early 1990s, we watched literally thousands of users in person, in order to debug and improve our devices.


     


    One of the things we noticed with capacitive touch screens, is that a small percentage of users do not do well with them.   Some have callouses.   Some used lotion.  Some simply tried to use their fingernails.  Some we never figured out.  In all those cases, the finger could not provide enough capacitance to be recognized.


     


    You see, to the touchscreen, we're the electrical equivalent of a six foot diameter bag of water.  The bag is our top layer of skin.  The water is the blood in our capillaries just under the top layer.  If the blood is not near enough to the touch point, or is blocked by say, callouses, then the screen has a harder time sensing us.


     


    In that same vein (ugh - a pun), here's one other possibility we noticed.  Some people have fingers that get extra cold in the winter.  In other words, the blood just under the skin withdraws a bit more normal.   This again has the effect of reducing capacitance to the point that it won't be sensed as easily.   The user has to warm up his hands first.


     


    I bet one of those is your case, especially since you say licking your finger seems to help.


     


    Btw, the iPhone touchscreen controller is designed to ignore small touches.  It wants to see a fairly large patch of skin / stylus in order to believe it's an actual touch.   It then calculates a theoretical best touch point inside that patch. This is why it can be insensitive to people like you.  It's also why people who want drawing precision buy an active pen that uses a different, more precise locating method.

  • Reply 20 of 22
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


    [...] One of the things we noticed with capacitive touch screens, is that a small percentage of users do not do well with them..



     


    Thank you for the detailed explanation of how capacitive screens work and what can cause them to NOT work. I appreciate it!

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