August 2, 2012

Sharp To Begin Shipping New iPhone Screens This Month

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

It´s just as Thom Yorke notices in the opening track of Radiohead´s 2000 platinum-winning album Kid A: Everything is in its right place.

Similar to the way the world hung on the English rock band´s Ok Computer as they anticipated what Radiohead would do next, so, too, are Apple fans and tech geeks alike eager to see just what Apple will do with their next iPhone, said to be released nearly 12 years to the day after Radiohead´s revolutionary album.

Today, we get even more confirmation that the entire process is moving along as it should, as Reuters reports Japan´s Sharp Corp has been making screens expected to be installed in the next Apple smartphone, and will begin shipping them this month.

“Shipments will start in August,” said Sharp´s new president, Takashi Okuda in a press event in Tokyo after the company released their latest quarterly earnings Thursday evening.

Though Sharp won´t directly comment on their relationship with Apple, it´s reasonable to believe that these screens are heading Foxconn´s. The two companies announced a small partnership this past May, with Foxconn buying a 10% share in Sharp.

Though no official announcement has been made, we already know a great deal about the next iPhone. Just as fans already knew a great deal about Kid A in the months leading up to the release, thanks to an innovative marketing campaign and the popularity of Napster, many have generally agreed upon a 4-ish-inch screen which utilizes a new, in-cell technology, a new, smaller dock with a relocated headphone jack and 4G LTE connectivity.

The new, rumored in-cell technology to be used in the next iPhone could work to slim the phone down by another few millimeters by reducing the number of glass layers.

As it stands, your iPhone is lovingly built like a delicious sandwich, with the layers of the screen built within the entire glass and metal casing. By removing the layer of glass in between your finger and the capacitive touch screen panel, these in-cell screens allow the LCD panels to actually be touched, making it feel like you are actually touching the elements on the screen, not just touching a panel above the elements.

The Wall Street Journal has also confirmed the new, 4-inch screen size of the next iPhone.

Citing those Sources Familiar With the Matter, the Journal said in July that Sharp, along with LG and other screen manufacturers have been tagged to make these new, larger screens.

This marks the first time the iPhone has ever grown in size, even if that growth is only displayed in height instead of girth or width.

A number of Apple´s competitors have embraced this growing trend for a while now, particularly Samsung, Apple´s fiercest competitor. Their latest flagship, the Galaxy S III boasts a whopping 4.8-inch screen.

Anticipation is unprecedented for the next iPhone as the world anxiously waits on the edge of their collective seat for Apple´s next big hit. After all, they´ve given us some great material to work with over the past 5 years, their Ok Computer days, if you will.

Now, just as Radiohead entered a new millennium with a new, revolutionary sound, we patiently wait to see how Apple will usher us into a new age of smartphones with their new iPhone. Will it be just as important to our generation as Kid A?

We´ll likely find out come September 12th.