Taipei, April 19 (CNA) Apple Inc. is likely to use display technology provided by Japanese panel makers rather than Taiwan-based suppliers for its next-generation iPhone in order to achieve a thinner profile for the device, a Taipei-based analyst said Thursday.
The iPhone 5 is expected to use thinner displays based on in-cell technology, which will benefit Japan's Sony Corp., Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Corp. due to their leads in this field, said David Hsieh, vice president of DisplaySearch in charge of the Greater China market.
"Of course, Taiwanese panel makers are also developing this technology, but Japanese suppliers still run faster," Hsieh told reporters on the sidelines of the DisplaySearch Taiwan Flat Panel Display Conference.
Compared with on-cell technology, touch panels that use in-cell technology can be made thinner because the touch sensors are actually placed inside the color filters rather than on top of them, he explained.
At present, Taiwan's TPK Holding Co. and Wintek Corp., which supply touch panels to Apple, use mainly on-cell technology in their products, according to the two companies.
In the fourth quarter of last year, Apple shipped 37 million iPhones and topped the global smartphone market with a 23.5 percent share, according to research firm International Data Corp. (IDC).
For 2011 as a whole, the American electronics giant sold 93.2 million iPhones for a 19.0 percent market share, trailing closely behind the 19.1 percent of the world's top vendor, Samsung Electronics Co., IDC said.
(By Jeffrey Wu)