A new rumor out of Apple's supply chain in Asia suggests that the company could be returning to using ultra-thin glass-on-glass touch panels for next year's line of iPhones, but will remain using in-cell touch panels for the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus," both predicted to launch this month (via DigiTimes
). The sources cite Apple's issues with production bottlenecks of the in-cell technology which prevent the company from "adding new features as well as increasing resolutions."
Makers have already begun sending samples of fully laminated G/G technology to Apple and Corning along with Asahi Glass have also reportedly sent glass samples.
Market observers have recently noted that Apple is in discussions over whether to go back to G/G instead of in-cell technology for future iPhone devices as in-cell technology is currently struggling with various production bottlenecks that are preventing Apple from adding new features as well as increasing resolutions.
Notably, the improvement in glass-on-glass production technology could grant Apple the ability to create a bezel-free iPhone that in-cell panels currently limit. The possibility of a full 4K ultra HD screen would also be in the cards according to the sources in the company's supply chain, again pointing to current limitations on in-cell touch panels themselves, and their production.
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. Additionally, in-cell touch panels also make it difficult for vendors to pursue higher resolutions including Ultra HD (4K) due to current bottlenecks, the observers said.
Apple used glass-on-glass touch panels in its iPhone line until the iPhone 5 came out in 2012 with in-cell panels. The new line of iPhones predicted to be announced at next week's September 9 media event
will undoubtedly continue to use in-cell panels, with stronger 7000 series aluminum shells, Force Touch, an improved 12-megapixel camera, all housed in a similar design to last year's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models.