Apple receives new touch-screen patent that could help with larger iPhone 5 display
Apple received a new patent for touch-screen LCD technology on Tuesday that could possibly be a new feature of the iPhone 5, Apple Insider reports. The new patent (No. 8,234,027) deals with a “touch screen liquid crystal display” and integrates several elements to achieve an even thinner, lighter panel. Here's how the patent filing breaks it down:
"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."
So, basically, it simplifies the entire touch-screen process. Currently, the iPhone 4S features an LCD touch-screen technology that's a bit more complex than this. The 4S uses glass-on-glass, which means that the touch-sensitive element is placed between two separate glass layers. This new patent would make it possible to get rid of that extra layer on top by combining the liquid crystal touch sensing elements into one.
Not only would this simplify the manufacturing process, but it would also help Apple create that larger four-inch display we keep hearing so much about. The new touch-screen technology would help keep the iPhone 5 thin and lightweight, while still leaving room for that rumored extra five inches.