A third-generation Apple Watch is expected to adopt a different display technology based on glass-film panels versus touch-on-lens panels utilized on Apple Watch Series 2 and glass-on-glass (two pieces of glass) ones on the original Apple Watch. Shipments of the tentatively named Apple Watch Series 3 are expected to start in the second half of 2017, as per sources cited in a Tuesday report from DigiTimes.

Both glass-film and touch-on-lens panels for the current Apple Watch models are supplied by TPK Holding, a Taiwan based manufacturer of touch panels.

TPK’s been struggling to fix yield issues that have been plaguing production of Apple Watch Series 2’s touch-on-lens panels, causing losses for the firm in 2016.

To return to profitability, TPK may give up production of touch panels for Apple Watch and focus on 3D Touch-like AMOLED screens for Android smartphones in 2017.

According to sources, the touch-on-lens yield issues that have been plaguing TPK stem from Apple Watch’s slightly curved flexible screen that complicates the manufacturing processes. High cost and poor yield rates are said to have prompted Apple to adopt glass-film touch panels for Apple Watch Series 3.

These panels should be produced by Taiwan-based General Interface Solution or Hong Kong-based Biel Crystal Manufactory while Apple Watch Series 3 itself should be assembled by Quanta.

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Glass-film technology uses two display structures, a thin glass on top of the touch screen and the a heavy duty film laminate. The surface of a glass-film panel is even more resistant to scratches, high temperatures, and is easier to clean.

Again, shipments of the next Apple Watch should start in the second half of 2017.

Source: DigiTimes

  • Soheil Plus

    i only gonna buy it if it comes with camera

    • Steve Jobs

      But then you’ll never own an Apple Watch

    • lou111

      Cameras. Cameras everywhere. Seriuosly, do you want it?

      • Rowan09

        Everyone wants a camera on them now a days.

      • lou111

        Even if oou re the recorded person behind every corner or conversation with random person and you don’t even know it? This is one of the last steps in zero privacy and safety

      • Rowan09

        I never understood the reason. The speaker on the watch is so low making a phone call is not a great experience, so I can only imagine doing a FaceTime call (I’m assuming the reason people want a camera for the most part). I give up enough of my privacy owning these devices already.

  • Sivale99

    The addition of LTE will be my main buying point.

    • nova12

      Is the 3 rumored to include LTE?

    • burge

      They’ve only just put GPS in it and you want full cellular connection, not going to happen. ( yet if at all )

    • Cerberus The Wise

      Doubt it. They haven’t even fixed the issue of cellular connectivity being a potential battery hog on phones themselves, let alone a watch.

  • Still not seeing a reason for this type of device to be a yearly release. iPad’s and Apple Watch should be every two years at best, the hardware vs software just doesn’t mix well enough to warrant upgrading quickly.

    • websyndicate

      it helps with sales of the device without need to do a full re design. Apple watch 2 got water proofing, gps, and faster. I know lots of runners were waiting for gps. If you have the apple watch original yea you will see no need to get the upgrades.

      I prefer apple upgrading as much as possible. People are not always in the same buying cycles as me. It would suck if you purchased and apple watch original at the end of the cycle period of 2 years. Ideally every year to keep things fresh.

      Look at the apple computers refresh. Not the best track record.