Apple Granted Patent for 'In-Cell' Touchscreen Display Concepts

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A newly-published Apple patent (via AppleInsider) reveals Apple's interest in so-called "in-cell" touchscreen technologies that have been rumored to be appearing in the next-generation iPhone. Adoption of in-cell technology, which integrates the touch sensors directly into the display rather than using a separate layer, is said to be one of the primary advances Apple is using to reduce the thickness of the iPhone to just 7.6 mm from the current 9.3 mm thickness.

The patent, which was originally filed for in June 2007 before the original iPhone even went on sale and is based on a provisional patent application dating all the way back to June 2006, highlights Apple's goals of reducing device size, complexity, and manufacturing costs just as it was attempting to revolutionize the mobile phone industry. The abstract begins:
Disclosed herein are liquid-crystal display (LCD) touch screens that integrate the touch sensing elements with the display circuitry. The integration may take a variety of forms. Touch sensing elements can be completely implemented within the LCD stackup but outside the not between the color filter plate and the array plate. Alternatively, some touch sensing elements can be between the color filter and array plates with other touch sensing elements not between the plates.



One of a number of Apple-proposed concepts for in-cell touchscreens
Apple's extensive patent with 85 claims and 107 different figures covers a host of concepts for how touch sensors could be integrated into LCD panels, including both the overall ideas as well as manufacturing processes that could be used to build the displays.

Article Link: Apple Granted Patent for 'In-Cell' Touchscreen Display Concepts
 

faroZ06

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2009
3,387
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All of this research just to make it thinner, and I don't care about the thickness.
 

Textureboy

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2012
322
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This is just way too scientific for me to understand, could someone elaborate on the potentials of this technology? ( Other than the thinness of the phone)
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
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I find this patent award odd. Surely it must be limiting in some technical way not apparent. Why would Apple be able to patent a technology their suppliers would have been developing?

And Microsoft trumpeting the small distance between screen and glass on the Surface tablets convinced me they were using in-cell and/or gorilla glass 2. Perhaps that is a reason for the cross-licensing agreement (well, one of many)? Apple doesn't see MS as a true threat to their business at this time and is willing to make the ally against google and android?
 

WhySoSerious

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
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if thinness comes at the expense of battery juice, i don't like it.

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This is just way too scientific for me to understand, could someone elaborate on the potentials of this technology? ( Other than the thinness of the phone)
only 2 things come of this: thinness and brighter screen

nothing else.
 

ConCat

macrumors 6502a
I wish Apple would cut it out already with making it thinner. You'd think they won't be satisfied till the iPhone is paper-thin... It's bordering on too thin at this point. Give me a bigger battery, more RAM, a more powerful GPU or CPU and I'd be happy. I don't need a thinner device.
 

faroZ06

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2009
3,387
1
I wish Apple would cut it out already with making it thinner. You'd think they won't be satisfied till the iPhone is paper-thin... It's bordering on too thin at this point. Give me a bigger battery, more RAM, a more powerful GPU or CPU and I'd be happy. I don't need a thinner device.
I just want a bigger battery.
 

fredfnord

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2007
127
16
I find this patent award odd. Surely it must be limiting in some technical way not apparent. Why would Apple be able to patent a technology their suppliers would have been developing?
Why would you assume that this was in development in 2006? Touchscreen technology wasn't nearly as seriously being pursued, let alone 'make it one tenth of a millimeter thinner' touchscreen technology, at that point.
 

prezasti

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2010
390
43
All of this research just to make it thinner, and I don't care about the thickness.
I don't know, to me that picture shown in the Patent makes the screen look thicker. Just look at how big it looks compared to the finger. :p
 

jagolden

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2002
1,055
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Who cares? The iPone is currently too thin as it is. You see all these people holding it like it's a delicate thing. Should be grab-n-go like the 3Gs design.
The only thing that could interest me on this point is if it somehow saves or increases battery life.

I'm more (very) concerned with the lack of battery size increase and the effect this will have on talk and standby time. Very dissapointed on this.

I was looking forward to the new iPhone, but now it looks like I'll stay with my trusty 3Gs.
 

AR999

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2012
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I piece of me dies every time Apple gets a new patent, you can guarantee they will abuse it.
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
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if thinness comes at the expense of battery juice, i don't like it.

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only 2 things come of this: thinness and brighter screen

nothing else.
We already know the battery is essentially the same size as the last one if the leak is true. We also likely know this battery has a new chemistry due to 3.8V nominal voltage. It must be better in some way for Apple to switch to it.

We also know the CPU is rumored to be an A5 variant, which likely is 32nm and better on power than the A5 (to make room for LTE).

Screen could also be lower power due to these advancements, especially if they use IGZO.

Seems highly likely battery life will stay constant or improve a bit (I would like a return to iphone 4 battery levels personally).
 

prezasti

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2010
390
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I piece of me dies every time Apple gets a new patent, you can guarantee they will abuse it.
Some things such as the "Polarizer," which this screen patent has two of, must be protected! Otherwise someone could come along and steal the technology to make new "Polarizer Sunglasses." :cool:
 

twiggy77

macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2012
1
0
See, this is the kind of technology that should be protected by patents. Real breakthroughs in the fundamental, physical way things work. Not the shape/size/color/location of a bit of UI chrome.
 

Dwalls90

macrumors 601
Feb 5, 2009
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People saying "NEEDZ BIGGER BATTERY!11!!!" need to relax, this isn't an Android phone. Surely they are tuning iOS 6 to be better than iOS 5, and all of the new iPhone components point towards not only newer, faster and overall better technology, but also efficiency. Making the battery bigger doesn't fix the problem, it just slows it down. I would trust Apple is fixing the problem by making a more efficient and smarter phone.
 

jkichline

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2010
357
185
Not just two things

if thinness comes at the expense of battery juice, i don't like it.
Why would it use more battery? By combining electronics into a single unit, it would most likely increase efficiency.

only 2 things come of this: thinness and brighter screen nothing else.
As mentioned on other articles, this also provides a big advantage: easier manufacturing. The less parts and processes, the cheaper and higher quality a piece can become. When you are creating these things in the millions, that counts for something pretty significant. It would also increase picture quality. If it requires less light to achieve the same level of brightness, then you get your battery savings too.
 

ctdonath

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,485
460
I keep waiting for pixel-integrated sensors. Scan a sheet of paper? literally hold it up to the screen. Lock screen? place hand thereon, biometric reading of hand shape & markings unlocks.
 

KdParker

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Oct 1, 2010
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Everywhere
Will this cause the phone to be more responsive? And if so, why didn't they do this a long time ago since the patent was origniall filed in 2006?