In-cell touch panels would alow Apple to build a thinner iPhone.
According to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, a recent drop in sales at Wintek, Apple’s supply chain partner involved in production of display touch panels, seems to give hints about the company’s plans.
Wintek produces touch panels for Apple and recently the company registered a significant drop in sales of this kind of panels. The analyst speculates that this decrease could be related to the implementation of in-cell panels for the iPhone 5.
“This morning, Wintek reported consolidated June sales of NT$5.22 billion, down 33.6% MoM and much worse than the average MoM June sales increase of 1% over the past seven years. Based on our records, this appears to be the biggest MoM sales drop for Wintek since the later part of 2008 and one of the most significant drops we have on record (back to 2005). We would not overreact to the weakness at Wintek as it relates to Apple because we believe Wintek may be losing market share in key next generation Apple products and therefore ramping down certain programs.”
White also writes that Wintek’s role in Apple’s supply chain is fading as the company makes the transition to new technologies.
Recent rumors have suggested that Apple placed orders at Sony to produce new “in-cell” screens for the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 displays that would be built using in-cell technology should be thin and should contribute to a reduction in size of the new device.