Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday was granted a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a new screen technology that could potentially make the next-generation iPhone thinner and lighter. Current touchscreen technology places the touch sensitive elements of the screen over the liquid crystal display. The Cupertino-based company’s patent, however, describes a variety of ways in which a touchscreen’s touch sensitive technology could be integrated within the actual LCD screen.
“By integrating the layered structure of an LCD and a touch sensor, a variety of benefits can be achieved,” Apple explained in the filings. “This integration can include combining or interleaving the layered structures described above. Integration can further include eliminating redundant structures and/or finding dual purposes (e.g., one purpose for the touch function and another for the display function) for particular layers or structures. This can permit some layers to be eliminated, which can reduce cost and thickness of the touch screen LCD, as well as simplify manufacturing.”