According to Wall Street Journal's sources, the iPhone 5 may well have a thinner screen, thanks to some new technology from Sharp and LG. Both electronics companies are currently making screens for the new iPhone, apparently, and they’re building in something called in-cell technology. The idea is that the touch sensors are built directly into the LCD display, rather than having touch membrane layer over top of the LCD.
The result is that the whole screen assembly can be thinner than previous models, which means a thinner iPhone 5 might be on the horizon. As the WSJ points out, the technology may uncomplicate Apple’s supply chain, too, since they’ll no longer need to source displays and touch membranes separately.
Meanwhile, Samsung is continuing to forge ahead with OLED, the next-gen display technology that will likely replace LCDs in most devices eventually. Their superior black levels and contrast, and the fact that they don’t need to be backlit, make them a great option when aiming for thinness. They’re also flexible, allowing for a possible future of bendy phones and TVs. Apple may be avoiding the display technology in favour of old-school LCD panels, however, because Samsung is the largest maker of OLED screens in the world.
Whether Apple eventually caves and buys Samsung’s OLEDs, or whether another OLED maker emerges to provide for Apple, remains to be seen. For this coming generation of iPhone, however, it looks like in-cell LCD touchscreens will be the chosen display technology.