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IPhone 5S unlikely to change next-gen tech: analyst

TAIPEI -- Apple Inc. is unlikely to change the touch panel technology that will be used in the next generation of iPhones due to the timetable of product design, Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG said Wednesday.

“We think this is unlikely to happen in the first half of 2013,” said Jerry Su, a Credit Suisse technology analyst, who pointed out that the design of iPhone products normally requires about six months, followed by a few months for pilot production and mass production.

Su said that late 2013 or early 2014 “is a more likely timeframe for Apple to adopt one-glass solution (OGS) or touch-on lens (TOL) for the iPhone if the company really decides to make the changes,” he wrote in a research note to clients.

Taiwan based touch panel supplier TPK Holding Co. should benefit if the future iPhone 5S adopts OGS or TOL technologies, given the company's technology leadership and good customer relations, Su said.

Local media reported Dec. 4 that Apple is planning to unveil a newer version of the iPhone in the first half of next year, following the launch of its latest version — the iPhone 5 — in September.

According to media reports, the new iPhone will use OGS touch panel technology, which is expected to mean big orders for Taiwanese touch panel makers TPK and Wintek Corp. from the U.S. consumer electronics giant.

The reports said the shift to OGS technology from the in-cell technology the current iPhone 5 uses is because the yield rate of in-cell screens has been unsatisfactory.

In response to the report, TPK said in a Dec. 4 filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that “it is the company's disclosure policy not to comment on any customer- or product-related specifications.”

Wintek also suggested that it is too early to say whether OGS will be used in the new iPhone in the first half of 2013, according to the Credit Suisse research note.

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