Apple has reportedly selected Sharp to create next-generation low-temperature poly-silicon LCD displays, which will allow a thinner and lighter design for the anticipated sixth-generation iPhone in 2012.
Sharp will begin manufacturing of the displays in the spring of next year, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkan (via Google Translate). The company is said to have already begun preparing equipment at its Kameyama Plant No. 1, which is primarily used for building LCD TVs.
The liquid crystal display on the anticipated "iPhone 6" is said to feature "low-temperature poly-silicon" technology, a next-generation display format that allows for thinner and lighter screens that consume less power than traditional LCD screens.
In a "p-Si LCD," the thin film transistor, or TFT, of the screen is made of polycristalline silicon. With this method, the display drivers can be mounted directly onto the glass substrate, shrinking the TFT section and allowing for a thinner LCD display.
This technology has allowed companies to create "system on glass" devices, in which the optical sensors, signal processing circuits and other components are located directly on the glass substrate. This negates the need for additional components in a device like an iPhone, saving space within the device and even improving battery life with increased efficiency.
Other advantages of a p-Si display are said to be a higher aperture ratio, which allow for more vivid images onscreen, and enhanced durability, with the amount of connecting pins reduced.
The display of the iPhone 4 is a major selling point of the device, with the high-density 326ppi screen dubbed a "Retina Display" by Apple. Apple also pushed the in-plane switching screen of the iPad last year, a feature that allows enhanced viewing angles, and one that returned again for the new iPad 2.
The rumors of a p-Si LCD would suggest that Apple is not considering organic LED displays, an alternative low-power technology that has been pushed in iPhone-competing devices like the Samsung Galaxy S. Numerous rumors have suggested that Apple has shown interest on OLED, but the iPhone maker has not utilized the technology in any of its devices.