According to a new supply chain rumor, Apple is in discussions over whether to go back to glass-on-glass (G/G) or on-cell glass instead of in-cell technology for future iPhone devices as the technology currently is struggling with various production bottlenecks that are preventing Apple from adding new features as well as increasing resolutions.
Touch panel makers are aiming to create G/G touch panels that would allow Apple to create smartphones similar in thickness to current iPhones equipped with in-cell touch panels. G/G touch panels may also help Apple develop bezel-free smartphones as in-cell touch panels reportedly are struggling with touch sensitivity on the edges.
In-cell touch panels are also difficult for vendors to pursue higher resolutions including Ultra HD (4K) solutions used in smartphones due to current bottlenecks, the sources said.
The sources added that TPK in particular is developing new solutions that use a G/G substrate and ITO thin film for lamination, currently reaching a thickness of 8.5mm. However, the company expects that it can further decrease the size and bring it closer to a thickness of 7.1mm.
There's been a hot debate as to which direction in-cell would take going forward and Japan Display announced a new high end in-cell glass process called Pixel Eyes. It was also revealed in March that Apple has been working on their own in-cell technology that they described as Sensor-on-Glass technology.
Will Apple's next iPhone debuting this September offer a new bezel-free design or is this debate relating to next-gen displays in context to the 2016 iPhone 7? Only time will tell.