Apple Starts Sampling Capacitive Touch Panels for Next Gen iMac

Submitted by lalit on October 1, 2010 - 8:16am.

DigiTimes is reporting that Sintek Photronics has sent samples of projected capacitive touch panels to Apple to be incorporated in the next generation iMac. It has been rumored for quite sometime that iMac will be the first Mac to get multitouch input support. And a recent patent filed by Apple for touchscreen support on desktops added fuel to the fire.

Apple will be using new one-glass capacitive touch panel solution, which integrates the touch sensor into cover glass to reduce thickness and weight. In place of conventional projected capacitive touch panels that place touch sensors over the LCD panel and then cover it with glass. By using the new one-glass solution Apple will also be able to offer good vertical and horizontal viewing angles and better display brightness, the two big issues affecting current touchscreen desktops like HP TouchSmart desktops.

According to DigiTimes’ industry sources, current capacity for 20-inch and above capacitive touch panels is very limited and the technology involved quite complex, and hence Sintek, which is equipped with 5.3G generation touch panel production lines has a good chance of becoming a supplier for Apple. However, we don’t think everyone should get their hopes up of buying touchscreen iMac this holiday season, because capacitive touchscreens above 20-inch are difficult to make and very costly when compared to normal LCD panels. Also, Apple has just started sampling the new panels, which indicates that the product (iMac) is still in early prototype state.