An analyst says a switch to in-cell touch panel technology from the current glass-on-glass design could shrink the thickness of the 2012 Apple iPhone by 0.44mm. This would help the company break the 8mm mark with its next handset allowing them to stay competitive with thin designs from rivals.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently issued a report agreeing with recent rumors that Apple will introduce in-cell touch panels on its next iPhone. According to his research, the new display design, which would embed the touch sensor within the TFT LCD, could result in thickness savings of as much as 0.44mm by removing the separate touch sensor layer and one layer of adhesive.
Apple’s current-generation iPhone 4S is 9.3mm thick.
Kuo calculated that a thinner battery, and a rumored switch to a metal back could result in a further reduced thickness of 0.96mm. He predicts that the next iPhone will be 7.90mm thick.
“Another advantage of using in-cell touch is the shorter lead time for touch panels, its most valuable component, and adjusted activities at the supply end, allowing more precisely tailored products to meet market needs, eventually reducing production costs by an estimated 10-20%,” Kuo wrote.
Toshiba, Sharp and LG Display are thought to be the companies that will gain from orders of in-cell touch panels by Apple.