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Rumor: Apple Watch 3 will switch from touch-on-lens to glass-film displays

The Apple Watch 3 will probably switch from touch-on-lens (TOL) technology to a glass-film option, according to DigiTimes. With TOL, the touch technology is applied on the back side of the cover glass to eliminate the need for a separate touch panel. 

Taiwan-based TPK Holding has been a supplier of TOL panels for use in the smartwatch for two years, but since Apple adopted TOL (touch-on-lens) for the second generation Apple Watch in 2016, it’s been unable to hike yield rates for TOL touch panels at a reasonable level so may stop production for the Apple wearable devices, DigiTimes says, quoting unnamed “industry sources.”

Considering cost and yield rates, Apple will adopt a glass-film touch solution in place of TOL and have Taiwan-based General Interface Solution or Hong Kong-based Biel Crystal Manufactory produce the touch panels, with shipments to begin in the second half of 2017, the article adds. 

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.

Chances this rumors is true (IMHO): 90%. “DigiTimes” hasn’t always been the most reliable source for Apple news, but this report sounds logical.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.