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Rumor: Apple considering going back to 'glass-to-glass' touch panels for 2016 iPhones

Apple is reportedly testing the notion of reverting to G/G (glass-to-glass) touch panels for 2016 iPhone models, out of alleged frustration with obstacles presented by the in-cell technology the company has been using in recent years.




Panel suppliers have started sending fully-laminated G/G samples, and glassmakers Corning and Asahi Glass have sent samples of their own, DigiTimes said on Wednesday. Apple is allegedly sticking with the in-cell format for its 2015 iPhones, which should be announced at the company's Sept. 9 event.

Although in-cell technology allows for thinner displays, it's also allegedly creating production bottlenecks for Apple that are impeding new features and higher resolutions. The iPhone 6 Plus sports a 1920x1080-resolution display, but some competing smartphones are already at quad HD resolution (2560x1440), and the future may be 4K.

DigiTimes has a mixed track record with Apple product details but is typically more reliable when talking about its focus, the Asian supply industry.

The publication claims that Apple's hope is a slimmed-down version of G/G could replace in-cell panels without adding bulk. It could also potentially enable bezel-free phones, since in-cell panels reportedly have problems with sensitivity around their edges.

Any 2016 iPhones would likely still be in early development stages, with core features unsettled.