iPhone 4s
Laptops are getting smaller, tablets are getting slimmer, and the iPhone looks like it’s getting a thickness change as well. The current display of the iPhone is 9.3 millimeters thick. However, with in-cell technology, the thickness of the display will be reduced by half a millimeter.

In-cell technology was developed by South Korea’s LG Display Co. and Japan’s Sharp Corp. and Japan Display Inc. This technology places the sensors of the touchscreen within the LCD screen itself, removing the need for the extra layer that usually holds these touchscreen sensors. The three companies are currently mass producing the thinner touchscreen panels that use in-cell technology.

While half a millimeter doesn’t sound like that much of a deal in terms of how thick the phone actually is, this change actually carries significant implications for the next iPhone – and not all of these implications are good.

The good news is that Apple can cut the cost of production for the iPhone because, of course, the extra touchscreen layer carried an additional cost. It would simplify the supply chain because Apple would no longer need a separate supplier for its touch panels.

And while the half-a-millimeter thickness barely registers on a ruler, it still saves space within the device. Apple can then use that extra space, for instance, to give the iPhone a bigger battery!

It’s also not just about thickness; the technology also improves the quality of the screen images.

And yes, of course, there is the matter of that competition with Samsung, whose Galaxy S III already comes with an OLED screen that is thinner than the conventional LCD screen and does not need backlighting.

However, there is a potential bad side to the adoption of this technology. The production of touchscreens that use in-cell technology takes more time and effort than the production of regular touchscreens. This could offset the potential savings in terms of material expenses – or maybe it wouldn’t.

In any case, Apple must have had it all figured out as the company is planning to release the next iPhone in fall this year.

Image source: Apple.com

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