The Apple Watch Series 2 was a modest but welcome improvement over the original Apple wearable, but with stiff competition from Samsung and LG, it’s already extremely clear that the next iteration of the Apple Watch will need to be pretty impressive in order to set it apart. Thanks to a new report from Digitimes, we now have an idea — an extremely vague one, admittedly — of how Apple is approaching the Apple Watch Series 3.
The report, which focuses on supplier TPK Holding, reveals that Apple is abandoning the glass panel technology that it has used for the Apple Watch thus far in favor of something new.
“In order to return to profitability, TPK will focus on 3D sensor-based touch panels for smartphones with OLED displays in 2017 and give up production of touch panels for Apple Watch, the sources noted,” Digitimes explains. “Considering cost and yield rates, Apple will adopt G/F (glass-film) touch solution in place of TOL for new Apple Watch and have Taiwan-based General Interface Solution or Hong Kong-based Biel Crystal Manufactory produce the G/F touch panels, with shipments to begin in the second half of 2017, the sources indicated.”
The report also indicated that the curved glass display of the Apple Watch caused major headaches for TPK in the manufacturing process, and that the company reported a loss due to the difficulties. Rumors have pointed to the Apple Watch Series 3 arriving in fall of 2017, which fits well with the report’s claim that the new glass-film touch panels will begin shipping in the second half of the year.