WSJ: Next iPhone to feature thinner screen

A new report indicates Apple's next iPhone will feature a thinner screen. The screen is reportedly currently being manufactured by Apple's Asian supply chain partners in preparation for a launch that would likely take place later this year.

According to The Wall Street Journal, three of Apple's manufacturing partners – Sharp, Japan Display and LG Display – are currently manufacturing the "panels for the next iPhone using so-called in-cell technology." The technology, the article says, eliminates the need for a second touch-screen layer over a traditional LCD screen as it integrates sensors directly into the screen. Such a technology would both make the screen thinner and improve image quality.

The article states the three manufacturers are having issues creating the new screens, as they find the manufacturing process "challenging and time-consuming" as they try to achieve the high yield rates required by Apple for the next iPhone.

Apple's next iPhone is expected to launch in the fall and feature a larger screen to rival Samsung's recently launched Galaxy S III. The new screen is expected to measure at least 4 inches diagonally, an increase over the current iPhone's diagonal screen size of 3.5 inches. If the screen size is indeed increased, it would mark the first time the iPhone has gotten a larger screen. By making the screen thinner, Apple could offset the increase in weight that would typically come with implementing a larger screen.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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27 Comments

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People will complain about the poorer quality screen when they switch to LG from Samsung. Anandtech had a screenshot of last year's MBA vs this years the screen from Samsung was better quality than that of LG.

Apple has no real patents to enforce, in fact they are using other existing patents to fend off competitors. Apple saying a tablet which is rectangular with 1 button is an infringement on design? That's stupid.

Thinner screen? Still made of glass.
As with any GLASS screen...will thinner make it EASIER to break?
Even my Galaxy Note screen can be broken, gorilla glass or not, it just makes them
LESS likely to SCRATCH, not break.

naap51stang said,
Thinner screen? Still made of glass.
As with any GLASS screen...will thinner make it EASIER to break?
Even my Galaxy Note screen can be broken, gorilla glass or not, it just makes them
LESS likely to SCRATCH, not break.

I think the article refers to a different shaped screen, as in a different aspect ratio. Thinner will mean either 16:9 or 16:10

Mark said,

I think the article refers to a different shaped screen, as in a different aspect ratio. Thinner will mean either 16:9 or 16:10


Really? I read it to mean this thickness of the glass.

Mark said,

I think the article refers to a different shaped screen, as in a different aspect ratio.

Only in the last paragraph. "Thinner screen" refers to its thickness not the height or width.

Tim Dawg said,

Really? I read it to mean this thickness of the glass.

That's correct.

Mark said,

I think the article refers to a different shaped screen, as in a different aspect ratio. Thinner will mean either 16:9 or 16:10

They're probably talking about the actual screen. As in the LCD layer that contains everything that actually produces the picture.

That glass you see and feel on your phone isn't the actual screen. It's either the capacitive touchscreen or the protective panel covering it. So even if the 'screen' is thinner - you should normally have a protective layer over it anyway. When you actually break your screen, usually it's the protective layer and the capacitive layer that are broken. Sometimes it's all three layers.

bj55555 said,
This is what Samsung did for its SAMOLED display. I smell lawsuit coming.

No patent = no lawsuit.
Do some background research first, please...

Astra.Xtreme said,

No patent = no lawsuit.
Do some background research first, please...

And you know for sure that Samsung hasn't already filed for a provisional utility patent on this technology or that they won't be awarded the patent 1-2 years from now or won't be suing Apple should that day come?

Thought so.

bj55555 said,

And you know for sure that Samsung hasn't already filed for a provisional utility patent on this technology or that they won't be awarded the patent 1-2 years from now or won't be suing Apple should that day come?

Thought so.

Again, do some research before posting this crap. Apple isn't producing any screens so the only people being sued is the company Apple is buying this from. On top of that, Samsung wasn't the first to do it so Samsung won't be able to hold a patent on it anyway at this point as other products exist, though not as small. Did you do any research before posting this crap?

Thought so.

ILikeTobacco said,
Again, do some research before posting this crap. Apple isn't producing any screens so the only people being sued is the company Apple is buying this from. On top of that, Samsung wasn't the first to do it so Samsung won't be able to hold a patent on it anyway at this point as other products exist, though not as small. Did you do any research before posting this crap?

Thought so.

aaahahhaha that's funny, only company that can be sued is who they are buying them from...... tell me, then how's come companies sue others for technology they implemented that they purchased from someone else as patent infringement all the time then?... We've seen this happen a LOT in the past few years... someone oh just for an example makes a device that has software on it, oh say Java... they didn't make java, they just licensed it, next thing they know they are told stop it, java infringes on a patent we had, we are going to sue you... lawsuit filed against the device maker, not Oracle.... why?! it's just what has happened in the past, do some research and you will find this more then you think...

neufuse said,

aaahahhaha that's funny, only company that can be sued is who they are buying them from...... tell me, then how's come companies sue others for technology they implemented that they purchased from someone else as patent infringement all the time then?... We've seen this happen a LOT in the past few years... someone oh just for an example makes a device that has software on it, oh say Java... they didn't make java, they just licensed it, next thing they know they are told stop it, java infringes on a patent we had, we are going to sue you... lawsuit filed against the device maker, not Oracle.... why?! it's just what has happened in the past, do some research and you will find this more then you think...

And if you actually read up on those cases, they are not being sued for Java. They are being sued for a piece of code that was written by them or a particular method of achieving something which is what patents are all about. You can't sue somebody for using Java. That's not how patents work. And in this particular case, Samsung wouldn't be able to win the lawsuit because they don't hold the patent and others did it before them, so they would be sued for much more, especially if Apple turns around and licenses the tech from the original company which would give them the power to counter sue and bar Samsung's device from being sold on US soil. Samsung attempting to sue for this would result in much unwanted attention on Samsung's product and get itself in more trouble that its worth.

Astra.Xtreme said,

No patent = no lawsuit.
Do some background research first, please...


Yeah because we all have time to do patent searches before making a comment on Neowin.

Tim Dawg said,

Yeah because we all have time to do patent searches before making a comment on Neowin.

And that's why the majority of comments on news sites suck... the hell with researching and making an educated statement... go with the heat of the moment and post something that will get likes from an equally unintelligent person.

ILikeTobacco said,
Again, do some research before posting this crap. Apple isn't producing any screens so the only people being sued is the company Apple is buying this from. On top of that, Samsung wasn't the first to do it so Samsung won't be able to hold a patent on it anyway at this point as other products exist, though not as small. Did you do any research before posting this crap?

Thought so.

If only the company that first used something can hold the patent... how come Apple can do this even when other companies had something months to years before them?

Look at universal search, Apple is throwing a fit over this and demanding Samsung NEVER to use it... ok, yet Palm had this in 2009 for the Palm Pre, and the Motorola Droid had it in 2010.

So how can Apple have a patent on universal search when Palm was the first to use it then Motorola about a year later?

Tim Dawg said,

Yeah because we all have time to do patent searches before making a comment on Neowin.

Umm, if somebody is going to ramble out something stupid, they should do some research first before doing so...

SunYam said,

If only the company that first used something can hold the patent... how come Apple can do this even when other companies had something months to years before them?

Look at universal search, Apple is throwing a fit over this and demanding Samsung NEVER to use it... ok, yet Palm had this in 2009 for the Palm Pre, and the Motorola Droid had it in 2010.

So how can Apple have a patent on universal search when Palm was the first to use it then Motorola about a year later?


Because that's not what a patent is. A patent is about achieving something and the method used to achieve it, not necessarily the end result. In your example, were both universal searches using an sql database in the background to power it, a flat file, etc. If you were to actually read patents and what goes into them, people would actually understand how someone can be awarded a patent for a touch screen when touch screens already exist. They didn't get a patent for a touch screen. They got a patent for achieving a different method of making a screen interactive.

So, Mr.Jobs said he would never follow the trend in bigger screen size phones.. Well, guess what Jobs? No one wants a 3.5" screen anymore... Guess his thinking is so yesterday.. He probably flip over his grave if he found out that there will be a bigger iPhone...

I bet if it still has a 3.5" screen it will still sell like hotcakes and outsell every single phone on the market. I don't have an iphone but I really want one after buying the iPad. I find myself using the iPad a lot more than my phone so 3.5" is fine.

leeit2me said,
So, Mr.Jobs said he would never follow the trend in bigger screen size phones..

No he talked about screens that are so big they can't be operated using one hand anymore. Since the next iPhone is rumored to have an increase in hight only, Apple doesn't break with that vision.

'...as they try to achieve the high yield rates...'
Does anyone have any information on yield rates of products? And what the heck do they do with the parts that fail, just bin them?

n_K said,
'...as they try to achieve the high yield rates...'
Does anyone have any information on yield rates of products? And what the heck do they do with the parts that fail, just bin them?

recycle them?... most parts that fail their tests are recycled back to their key components to make another item again...

neufuse said,

recycle them?... most parts that fail their tests are recycled back to their key components to make another item again...


I'm trying to work out if they'd really do that though? For example intel or amd with CPU fabrication, when they had low yields for quad cores, they made them into dual/tri cores, etc. but say only 1 core worked, wouldn't be worth selling... And afaik you can't recycle the sillicon so does it just get dumped or what?