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iPhone 5 Will Feature Thinner Display, Courtesy of In-Cell Technology

Today’s bombshell was dropped by The Wall Street Journal, claiming—and confirming previous whispered rumors—Apple will implement a brand new innovation called in-cell technology, allowing the iPhone 5 to feature a thinner display.

iPhone 5 concept with in-cell technologyThe new technology used in manufacturing the iPhone 5 will have two benefits: the first mentioned above, and the second is a cost reduction, as it allows manufacturers to “integrate touch sensors directly into the LCD”, dropping the need to purchase the LCD panel and touch sensors separately.

Apple’s iPhone and iPad currently use a technology which needs two layers of indium tin oxide (ITO) glass and a protective cover, pushing the costs of manufacturing up, besides resulting in heavy mass and thickness. By using the in-cell technology—first presented by Toshiba about a year ago at SID—the iPhone 5 display will lose one of the two ITO glass layers and bonding glue, making way for a smaller and sharper display.

In addition, the iPhone 5 could lose some of its weight due to the in-cell technology, as Toshiba has shown: with the display, it managed to reduce panel thickness by 57%, as well as weight, by 48%. On the other hand, companies in Apple’s supply chain—Wintek and TPK Holdings—have already been working on another technology called touch-on-lens, which also aims to decrease the display’s thickness and weight, as well as increasing its performance.

We can only assume that both in-cell technology and touch-on-lens technology are likely to improve battery performance, an aching problem of Apple’s iPhone, as well as other Smartphones in the market. However, there is one bottleneck in using this technology: it is harder to manufacture than the current LCD panels. And considering the already high demand for the iPhone 5, Apple is likely to face some challenges in the manufacturing process.

The iPhone 5 will likely launch in October—just like the iPhone 4S—and we are betting on a bigger, 4-inch display, 4G LTE connectivity, a redesigned back panel and possibly a quad-core A6 chip, with improved noise reduction technology coming from Audience. [Image via Courtesy of Ciccaresedesign]

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