The next generation iPad is widely rumored to feature a thin iPad mini-like bezel with a much thinner and lighter footprint as compared to its bulkier predecessors. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple will accomplish this feat by using the same touch panel as the iPad mini in the iPad 5.
From WSJ’s report:
The same touch-panel technology that made the iPad mini thin and light will likely feature in the next iPad, which is currently being produced by Apple Inc.’s Asian suppliers, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
What many consumers generally call a “screen” consists of multiple layers, and the “touch panel” specifically refers to the layer equipped with touch sensors, between the liquid-crystal display and the outermost cover glass. The iPad mini, according to a teardown report by research firm IHS iSuppli, uses a film-based touch panel, which is thinner and lighter than the glass-based touch panel that the current full-size model uses. Following the iPad mini’s success, Apple plans to use the film-based touch panel in its next regular-size iPad, the people said.
With the addition of a Retina display in the iPad 3, Apple had to compromise on the device’s sleekness to give way to the extra space required by the display and the huge battery. While the new film-based touch panel addresses the bulk due the display, we wonder how Apple plans to reduce the size of the battery without lowering its capacity.