While Apple continues to use in-cell touch panels for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, it may switch (again) to using ultra-thin glass-on-glass (G/G) technology for the iPhone 7 due next year, according to whispers from Apple’s supply chain, as reported by Digitimes.
One possible reason for switching touch panel technologies is the production bottlenecks in in-cell technology, which limit Apple’s ability to add more new features and increase resolutions, the sources say.
Makers have already begun sending samples of fully laminated G/G technology to Apple and Corning along with Asahi Glass have also reportedly sent glass samples. Market observers have recently noted that Apple is in discussions over whether to go back to G/G instead of in-cell technology for future iPhone devices as in-cell technology is currently struggling with various production bottlenecks that are preventing Apple from adding new features as well as increasing resolutions.
By returning to the ultra-thin glass-on-glass touch panels used until the 4-inch iPhone 5 came out in 2012, Apple will be able to create a bezel-free iPhone, which isn’t possible with the current touch panel technology due to technical reasons: they have issues with touch sensitivity at the edges.
Also, adding more colour to earlier sketchy reports, the glass-on-glass technology will allow Apple to increase the resolution of the screens to Ultra HD (4K), a feature the company is allegedly eyeing for future iPhones.
G/G touch panels may also help Apple develop bezel-free smartphones as in-cell touch panels reportedly are struggling with touch sensitivity on the edges. Additionally, in-cell touch panels also make it difficult for vendors to pursue higher resolutions including Ultra HD (4K) due to current bottlenecks, the observers said.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at a special event in San Francisco on September 9. The new handsets are said to sport a faster A9 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a 12 MP camera capable of 4K video recording, and the internals will be housed in a shell made of 7000 Series aluminum.