New Touchscreen for 'Apple Watch Series 3' Said to Enter Production Later This Year
The tentatively named "Apple Watch Series 3" will feature a new glass-film touchscreen in place of the current touch-on-lens solution, with shipments to begin in the second half of this year, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes.
While it remains unclear if the switch to a film-based solution will have any obvious consumer-facing benefits, this is more interestingly the first rumor to surface about the supply chain ramping up for the next Apple Watch.
The timeline matches a Chinese report last month that claimed the third-generation Apple Watch will be unveiled in the third quarter of 2017 with battery life and performance improvements. The report said Series 3 models, to be manufactured by Quanta, will lack any significant hardware changes.
Few other details are known about the next Apple Watch models, which could feasibly launch alongside the "iPhone 8" in September.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources have claimed the Apple Watch could gain an LTE chip for cellular capabilities as early as 2017, while a supply chain report last year said Apple may switch from OLED to micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch in the second half of 2017 at the earliest.
Micro-LED displays have benefits such as thinness, lightness, improved color gamut, increased brightness, and higher resolutions. The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron.
Apple has filed patents for a number of ideas that could eventually be included in an Apple Watch, such as a heart rate identification system, modular bands, haptic feedback band, and a band with a built-in charger. More significant health and fitness features could be added pending further FDA approvals.
Ahead of Apple Watch Series 3 models, Apple is expected to introduce new bands at its rumored iPad Pro-focused event next month.
Top Rated Comments
Getting notifications on your wrist, on the other hand, adds a bit of distance from your time sink apps that means when I get a text or some other alert, if I'm not responding to it immediately my wrist goes down and I'm back to what I was doing. Furthermore, a tap on the wrist and a small flick to check it is much less disruptive to concentration than a buzz in your pocket that leads to pulling your phone out for a look-see (as you never know which buzz is going to be important).
Of course this might all be irrelevant if you're an Adept of Attention but I've definitely noticed a severe drop in phone-related procrastination in the (almost) two years I've been wearing mine.
And on the fashion thing, that's definitely not the case with me - most people I know think I'm a complete dork for wearing one! (and I don't care :D)
A glass-film design (GF) uses a glass front panel that only has decorative print on it (no active circuitry). All the ITO pattern & side traces are printed onto a separate flexible PET layer. This is laminated to the front panel using an optically clear adhesive. The benefits of this are that it's more rugged (damage to the front panel doesn't affect the touchscreen itself), it's cheaper to make, and yields are typically slightly better than TOL or Glass-Glass designs. It's best suited to smaller designes where the side traces are fewer, so there's no problem of them being thicker. However, it does mean the overall distance from where the finger touches the screen to the image on the display itself is larger, as there's more layers. Also, there's a drop in brightness & clarity as you have more layers for the light from the display to go through.