There are more than one or two rumors of the new iPhone sporting a super thin screen which could boost battery life. Now, here's an Apple patent appearing describing exactly what kind of screen technology the rumors have been speculating about.
As Apple Insider points out, the new Apple patent describes different ways in which the top, glass layer of the touchscreen can be removed by combining the liquid crystal and touch sensing elements into a single structure. Check it out from the patent filing:
By integrating the layered structure of an LCD and a touch sensor, a variety of benefits can be achieved. This integration can include combining or interleaving the layered structures described above. Integration can further include eliminating redundant structures and/or finding dual purposes (e.g., one purpose for the touch function and another for the display function) for particular layers or structures. This can permit some layers to be eliminated, which can reduce cost and thickness of the touch screen LCD, as well as simplify manufacturing.
One of the section also describes how the in-cell technology can be used with in-plane switching IPS panels. The technology is currently being used in iPhone 4S's Retina display today.
In contrast, because the IPS embodiments discussed... can use the same electrodes used for display control and touch sensing, higher touch resolution can be obtained with little to no additional cost. Alternatively, a number of touch pixels can be grouped to produce a combined touch signal with a lower resolution.
We've already heard that the new iPhone may be using Sharp's own in-cell IGZO display technology. And it's already available today. And IGZO screens are actually thinner simply because they use smaller transistors and allow more light to pass through, which in turn requires less LEDs. This means less power consumed by the phone.
Whether or not the new iPhone will be using the in-cell screen is unknown for now, at least until September 12 but it sure is something to speculate about. Hopefully yes? [Apple Insider]