2019 iPhone could integrate touch sensing into OLED screen to become thinner and lighter

iPhone models that Apple will introduce in 2019 are understood to incorporate a touch-sensing module into the OLED screen itself, allowing the upcoming handsets to potentially become somewhat thinner and lighter, according to a new supply chain report.

Called Y-Octa, these integrated panels will be made by Samsung Display.

ETNews reported on Wednesday, citing industry sources, that Apple has already commissioned the development and manufacture of touch-integrated flexible OLED panels from Samsung.

Samsung reportedly has been trying to sell Apple on Y-Octa technology since March, citing cost savings over the separate OLED panel + touch-sensitive layer combination.

The report adds that Samsung’s display-making arm has recently entered into partnerships with relevant companies to develop parts and materials to make these new iPhone displays.

Moreover, the story makes additional claims that initial shipments will be limited, which might suggest that this technology will make its debut in 2019’s flagship iPhone model (most likely the direct successor to the current iPhone XS series) rather than all new models.

ETNews has a poor track record so take the report with a grain of salt.

Touch-integrated flexible OLED panels for 2019 iPhones would definitely represent a departure from the current approach seen on 2017 and 2018 iPhone models which use a dedicated touch-sensing module mounted atop the OLED panel itself.