Apple to switch to in-cell touch panel technology for iPhone 5

Sources from Taiwan are claiming that Apple is about to switch not only the supplier of its touch display technology for the iPhone 5, but the technology itself.

Reports are coming out that sources in Apple's supply chain report the Cupertino company is likely to adopt in-cell touch panels from makers Sharp and TMD as they exhibit "an improvement in yield rates" over the glass-on-glass touch solutions currently supplied by TPK Holdings and Wintek.

What does this mean for the consumer? Well, as in-cell touch panels are thinner than glass-on-glass equivalents, it could allow Apple to tighten the waistline of its next smartphone device.

Digitimes also claims that its sources expect the iPhone 5 to be released in the third quarter (much like the iPhone 4S did last year). And it states that both Sharp and TMD ramp up in-cell panel production in the second quarter of 2012.

There is one caveat. It also says that TPK Holdings is developing another new touchscreen technology, the TOL (touch-on-lens) single-glass touch solution, which could also be a strong competitor for Apple's affections.

What do you think? Will Apple switch from one touch screen technology to another? And will that even matter to the end user? Let us know in the comments below...