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Apple gets patent for in-cell touch display with impeccable timing

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 14, 2012
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So Apple could be working on an iPhone with a thinner display, you say. Look what we have here, possibly in the nick of time: it's a newly granted Apple patent for a screen with in-cell touch, where the LCD and touch recognition are integrated into one panel instead of stacking up in separate layers. Apple's implementation would slim things down by either having electrodes share duties, both driving the display and taking finger input, or stuffing two electrodes into each pixel to accomplish the same goal. The net effect isn't just one of squeezing a device into a thinner chassis; the company also envisions costs coming down by reducing the number of parts and streamlining the manufacturing process. As envisioned, the screen looks like an ideal fit for a significant revamp of Apple's mobile display technology, although we'd be careful about assuming that this or any in-cell touch implementation is a lock for potentially imminent iOS hardware. Apple first filed the patent in early June 2007, before the original iPhone had even marched into a retailer -- display technology has come a long way since then.

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