iPhone 5 (black, left angled, display 001)

The iPhone 5 introduced a bunch of both small and big advances in terms of display tech, most of them centered around the in-cell display process which laminates the cover glass to the display itself. As a result, in-cell tech reduces the iPhone 5’s thickness while increasing the image clarity by removing a third layer, which reduces light refraction noticeably. On the downside, this technology reduces the response speed of the touch panel.

This becomes especially evident when moving your finger across its screen in a rapid succession. Given the slow response speed of the iPhone 5’s touch panels caused by the in-cell technology, Apple reportedly is going to adopt the new Touch-On-Display technology from Chimei Innolux, a Foxconn subsidiary, to solve the problem…

The China Times reports that the Cupertino firm is already working with Chimei Innolux on the new Touch-On-Display panels that will be used on the next-generation iPhone, probably the forthcoming iPhone 5S which is expected around July.

Samples have been sent to Apple for testing in the hope of entering the iPhone maker’s supply chain. The report goes on to note that Innolux has converted its 4.5G line in Zhunan, Taiwan into a touch panel production line and plans on launching two new such plans.

The new display tech won’t make the display assembly any thicker, a source pointed out.

A report last week claimed Apple intends to refresh iOS devices this year with IGZO panels, reportedly turning to Innolux which has reportedly been licensed to use Sharp’s IGZO display tech on its 3G and 5G lines.

Here’s a quick backgrounder on how the in-cell tech the iPhone 5 uses differs from the ordinary touch screen technology that prior iPhones incorporated.

Current LCD vs in-cell

Game developer CMA Megacorp first observed the slower response time of the iPhone 5’s touch screen. Most users won’t even notice the problem so it’s not something to write home about. On the flip side, games like Fruit Ninja that rely on rapid finger movement could suffer from the iPhone 5’s in-cell display tech.

You can see in CMA’s video above that sliding one’s finger back and forth across the display rapidly causes input events to drop out or stop altogether, which is only exacerbated if scrolling diagonally.

I think it’s important that Apple deals with slower response times on iPhone 5 touch panels. The iPhone has always been famous for its fluid animations, responsive user interface and the best multi-touch implementation on any mobile device.


A big contributing factor to the overall sense of smoothness is the response time of the device’s touch panel. Now, the vast majority of smartphones don’t even hold a candle to the iPhone in that regard. But some, like Nokia’s Lumia series, arguably do.

The latest Lumias incorporate some of the best touch screen displays on the market that, coupled with Windows Phones’ crazy smooth UI performance, beat Apple in touchs screen and multi touch responsiveness.

It’s not a biggie, but the sooner Apple fixes touch screen performance, the better.

Does the iPhone 5’s touch screen performance concern you?

  • Guest

    I noticed

  • RV

    I noticed that the screen wasn’t that responsive unlike my old iPod touch 2g. Im having iPod touch 5G now. Aside from having a bigger screen (harder for fruit ninja) I’m having a hard time playing the game because of the screen. I also heard the screen wasn’t that good unlike in 4S and older devices

  • I’m pretty sure that this bug was fixed in iOS 6.1 because that’s what I am running right now on my iPod Touch 5th Generation and there is no scrolling bug.

    • Still happens on my iPhone 5 running iOS 6.1.

    • FrankensteinBlack

      This is a “bug” like antena-gate was a bug. Yes, your precious iGirl has a flaw and this is why Apple (just like antena-gate) will fix it in the next hardware version. Moral? Always wait for the iPhone “S” versions. Sayin…

  • Ray V

    I haven’t noticed any lag yet but I haven’t played too many games. (iPhone 5)

    Edit: just tried the glitch like the video shows, the glitch is definitely present in my iPhone 5. Not something that has bothered me before and I suspect it won’t be a problem for me.

    • i still use my 4s cause there is no jailbreak for my 5

  • “Lumia series, arguably incorporate some of the best touch screen displays on the market that, coupled with Windows Phones crazy smooth UI performance, beat Apple at its own game.”…

    blah blah blah and apple still rules he cell phone and tablet world..lol folks love to point out what phone beats iphone at something but at the end of teh day iphone always comes out as the number one and most want phone..

    • Didnt notice earlier. But your trolling skills are indeed above average…

  • yeh but they still have no competition at all..

    • maurid

      Wake up, Joe Jonsen! It’s 2013!

    • U dumb? Look world wide and tell me they dont have competition. Spain for ex. All android.

    • aj

      Dude..have a look at galaxy s 3 or note 2. Don’t u want features like smart stay, nfc beam etc.? And then there are the features of s pen on the note 2. I would die to have those features on my iPhone

  • maurid


  • Typo – Paragraph 1 – “which laminates the cover glass to the .splay itself.” It says .splay .

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Well, I play modern combat 4 on the daily and haven’t noticed any faulty swipe functions. Headshot… Ftw.

  • davred64

    Yeh lets make a couple of cheesy enhancements and call it iphone 6 then after a couple of months lets make the iphone 6 screen 1/2inch bigger and call it iphone 7 etc etc etc pathetic Apple

  • iPhone5&sgs2

    Doesnt getting glitched on my iPhone 5 6.1

  • alfie234

    there is no quality for apple now. we want quality not quantity.. uncomplete ios version with sooooooooooooo many bugs n problem.. this apple manager diffrent from Mr Jobs thinking….

  • Job

    I’ve used all the high end android phones(DNA galaxy note 2 s3 droid raze max hd). And of course I’ve tested 3 different iPhones. My verdict is both android and iOS are great. They both will offer the same things but in slightly different ways. Although It’s pointless to argue one is superior to the other the iphone does have better resale value of any phone. The 3GS is still in demand and iphone is the only phone that you can sell broken.