With the release of the iPhone 4, Apple showed its users just what the exceptional pixel density of the Retina Display was capable of, starting a push across the whole smartphone ecosystem towards similar phones with very-high-resolution displays. At this point, its next iPhone is very much obscured by a host of rumors, but we’ve got one more to add to the pile that might attempt to identify a new display technology that Apple could similarly introduce to the masses with its next handset.
According to industry sources, Apple may be planning to switch manufacturers for the touch panel on the next iPhone, instead electing to use a technology that integrates touch sensors right into the LCD. This obviously makes screens more complicated to manufacture, and that may be why Apple has waited until now to look into the technology, which is just now getting to the point where its manufacturing process is reliable enough for Apple’s needs.
The big benefit from this construction, called an in-cell touch panel, is that it means less glass between you and the actual pixels, making the display thinner and lighter than would be possible with older technologies. Supposedly, Sharp and TMD would be producing these screens for Apple, with production really going into high gear over the next couple months.