WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.
Two competitive advantages of the touch in-cell technology. iPhone 5 will measure 7,90 m.m thick, analyst say.
"more efficient supply chain management"
Improved production yield as reasons that Apple would adopt the in-cell technology. With the current glass-on-glass design, bonding occurs at a late stage in the production process, thereby resulting in "significant losses" if the bonding fails. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes in-cell production is quicker and and more efficient because bonding comes earlier in the process.
The new process would require an estimated three semi-finished items at bonding, compared to the six required to produce the iPhone 4S. Additionally, production procedures could be cut from eight to five.
The analyst also suggested that the number of production days required could drop from 12 to 16 to three to five.
"Another advantage of using in-cell touch is the shorter lead time for touch panel, its most valuable component, and adjusted activities at the supply end, allowing more precisely tailored products to meet market needs, eventually reducing production costs by an estimated 10-20%," Kuo wrote.
The switch would reportedly involve the use of Optical Clear Resin (OCR) instead of Optically Clear Adhesive (OCA). OCR bondings can be re-done, while current OCA bondings can't. Though OCR bondings have had low yields in the past, an open-cell technique addresses these issues.
According to Kuo research, the new display design, which would embed the touch sensor within the TFT LCD, could result in thickness savings of as much as 0.44mm by removing the separate touch sensor layer and one layer of adhesive.
Apple's current-generation iPhone 4S is 9.3mm thick. Kuo believes the company is aiming to break the 8mm mark with its next handset in order to stay competitive with thin designs from rival smartphone makers.