In the intensifying smartphone battle between Apple and Samsung, it is Apple that has next to show its hand. What it plans to reveal is a super-thin iPhone made possible by new display technology, The Wall Street Journal reported July 17.
Japanese liquid-crystal display makers Sharp Corp. and Japan Displaya new company that combined three Japanese electronics makers display unitsas well as South Koreas LG Display Co. are currently mass producing panels for the next iPhone using so-called in-cell technology, The Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The report explained that the display technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer.
The absence of a separate touch-screen could reduce the width of the phone by half a millimeter, in addition to improving the quality of the images displayed.
Still another advantage for Apple would be the cost savings associated with not having to buy touch panels and LCD panels from separate suppliers, said the report.
In May, Samsung made its latest move, introducing the Galaxy S III, a smartphone with a tremendous 4.8-inch display but still a width and weight (8.6mm and 133 grams) that comes in well below the 9.3mm and 140 grams of the iPhone 4S, with its far-smaller 3.5-inch display.
Samsung managed the tricka goal of the device, Samsung spokespeople have shared, is that when you pick it up, it feels far lighter than you expect it to, given its sizein part with its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. Because they dont require backlighting, as The Journal explains, OLED displays can be thinner than traditional LCD displays.
While the benefits of the in-cell technology are many, a drawback is that theyre harder to manufacture.
People familiar with the situation said that LCD makers are finding the manufacturing process challenging and time-consuming as they scramble to achieve high yield rates, wrote The Journal.
Samsung is a primary manufacturer of OLED displays, as well as new flexibleliterally bendyOLED displays. In May, Apple Insider, citing The Korea Times, reported that Samsung had received a huge order for the flexible OLEDs, which gave way to rumors that the order had come from Apple.
However, the Korea Times didnt suggest the bendy screen was intended for the iPhone 5, but for a possible future device called an "iPhone Yoga," wrote AppleInsider.
Of course, there is no shortage of speculations about what is intended for the iPhone 5.
Widely expected is a break from Apples now-modest display size to one thats at least 4 inches on the diagonal. Another easy bet is that the smartphone will include 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology.
The rumors have also included talk of Apple finally including near-field communication (NFC) technology, which many people were surprised to find missing from the iPhone 4S; possibly upgradable camera components; a quad-core processor; an October release date; a look more in line with that of the iPad; and liquid metal components.
This last rumor also came from AppleInsider, which wrote that a Korean IT news site had reported that, The iPhone 5 is likely to take liquid metal, an alloy of zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper and so forth, having an outer surface smooth like liquid.
Samsung, with the Galaxy S III, also created a new process to turn out the texture and Pebble Blue color option, and describes the phone as inspired by nature. On the whole, the S III is jam-packed with features, not just offering something to please every sort of consumer or business user, but sending a clear game on message to Apple.
To win this one, the iPhone maker will need to thrown down a shockingly thin-and-light ace.