Apple granted patent for in-cell touchscreen display tech
IP win cements iPhone 5 screen 'leaks'
Apple has been granted a US patent detailing in-cell LCD touchscreen tech of the kind already said to be implemented in the iPhone 5 to make it slimmer.
The patent covers "touchscreens that integrate the touch-sensing elements with the display circuitry" and describes several ways this may be achieved and a number of variations on the theme which "can include both conventional and in-plane-switching (IPS) LCDs".
Traditionally, touchscreen sensors are separate from the display unit placed beneath them. The two are tightly bonded together, but by integrating sensor tech into each pixels cuts out support layers in present in each device but which are common to both. There's also no need for the bonding cement, which needs to be of a very high optical grade.
"This can permit some layers to be eliminated, which can reduce cost and thickness of the touch screen LCD, as well as simplify manufacturing," says Apple's patent.
And just in case someone misunderstands the role Apple has in mind for the technology, the patent includes a description of a "mobile telephone incorporating an integrated liquid crystal display touch screen".
"In another embodiment, an electronic device incorporating an integrated LCD touchscreen according to the embodiments described above is provided. The electronic device can take the form of a desktop computer, a tablet computer and a notebook computer. The electronic device can also take the form of a handheld computer, a personal digital assistant, a media player, and a mobile telephone. In some embodiments, a device may include one or more of the foregoing, eg. a mobile telephone and media player."
Standing on the shoulders of giants, Apple's boffins cite dozens and dozens of previous display, device and touchscreen patents, both US and international within their own.
The Apple patent, number 8243027, derives from separate patent applications made in June 2007 and April 2011, the result of new elements being added over time to the core filing.
Back in July, what was believed to be a quasi-official leak said the next iPhone will be thinner than the current, 4S model specifically because of the use of new touchscreen technology, though as we noted Apple will need a slimmer battery too if it's to make the iPhone 5 appreciably thinner than the 4S.
Earlier this month, Sharp president Takashi Okuda said his company will begin shipping new iPhone screens to Apple this month. ®
Re: This would never be a UK patent
They should be able to patent a specific method of making an integrated display & touch screen, BUT not the idea of an integrated display & touch screen, THAT is the point made
Thinner does not equal better
Although in almost all cases it does equal more expensive and more fragile.
Patents can be used to bully smart people into giving you their launch money
Yes. It's called trolling. SCO tried it and failed. Oracle tried it and failed. Apple is trying it on currently. Microsoft is still doing it.
Re: Did you read the bit
Cheaper to manufacture. Don't expect them to come over all altruistic and start lopping ££££ left, right and centre - this is Apple we're talking about, after all.
The way I see it
Think back to the Dyson, it was a new way of making a vacuum clearner using a whole new method of suction etc.
It was therefore given a patant for the idea and method that they used. It was not a patant on bagless vacuums or any other new method.
This is the same, Apple have applied for and been granted a patant for a specifc method of impimenting built in touch. If Samsung or anyone else comes up with another then they are able to patant their own method as well, but if this is the only method that works and Apple have the patant then they should have the right to benefit from it. If I was them I would lisense the tech to others as lets be honest more non Apple products with touch are and will be sold and so they can increase their profits nicely.