Apple To Use Glass-On-Glass Technology For Bezel-Free iPhone 7 With Higher Resolution Display: Report

Apple To Use Glass-On-Glass Technology For Bezel-Free iPhone 7 With Higher Resolution Display: Report

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have yet to be unveiled, yet we’re already hearing rumors about next year’s iPhone. The latest to come from the rumor mill mentions a bezel-free iPhone with possibly a higher-resolution display.
(Photo : Chris McGrath | Getty Images)

The iPhone 7 may sport a bezel-free display with a much higher resolution than what Apple currently offers on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This may be made possible by using glass-on-glass (G/G) display, a technology that Apple used for its first iPhone way back in 2007.

This is according to DigiTimes, a Chinese publication that cites sources coming from Apple's supply chain in the Far East.

DigiTimes reports that Apple has started requesting samples of fully laminated glass-on-glass displays, and major suppliers such as Corning and Asahi Glass have already responded to the iPhone maker's request.

G/G is a display technology used in older iPhones, but G/G displays are relatively thicker than in-cell displays, which is what Apple now uses for its newer iPhones, starting with the iPhone 5.

However, there are a few major issues that Apple has reportedly ran into using in-cell displays. Despite their thinner profiles, in-cell displays are more difficult to produce than G/G displays. More crucial, however, is the fact that in-cell displays prevent Apple from introducing upgrades to the iPhone's display.

In-cell displays are known to harbor touch sensitivity issues around the edges, which make them a poor choice for an edge-to-edge display. In contrast, G/G has room for the sensor layer to reach farther out of the edges of a display, making them better-equipped for a bezel-free iPhone.

Moreover, in-cell displays make it harder for Apple to increase the resolution of its iPhones. The iPhone 6 currently has 750 x 1,334 pixels. Meanwhile, Sony just unveiled the Xperia Z5 Premium, the first smartphone in the world to sport a 4K display.

While one may question the benefits of bringing so many pixels to a relatively small device, it's clear that Apple is lagging behind its competition in terms of pixel count. However, we may see a bump in resolution should Apple decide to use G/G displays.

Please note that while the latest rumor on the iPhone 7 is interesting, it is still too early to declare this as a hard truth. Apple is not going to launch the new iPhone until 2016, and many changes can occur between that time and now.

Still, this is not the first time we have heard of reports about Apple considering G/G. In June, Patently Apple cited supply-side sources who said Apple was in discussions on whether to ditch in-cell displays and go back to G/G. The report also said that TPK, one of Apple's suppliers, was working on a new technology that would significantly thin down G/G displays, a move that will likely please Apple, given its penchant for slimmer and thinner devices.