DigiTimes: Apple Looking for Cheaper iPhone Touch Screens
DigiTimes reports that AU Optronics, a Taiwan display manufacturer, has downplayed a newspaper report that “claims the maker has received orders from handset, notebook, and GPS device makers for touch panels”. The significance of the story is that AUO manufactures thin integrated touch panels and its “production costs are 40% cheaper” than the sandwiched touch module + screen adopted in Apple’s current iPhone and has attracted interest from the likes of Nokia, Motorola, Dell, HP, and of course Apple.
Apple iPhone’s current supplier is the German touch panel specialist Balda who designs touch panel modules in Germany and manufactures them in China at an estimated cost of $27 per unit plus another $25 for the LCD. The iPhone touch screen ( touch module + LCD ) is its most expensive part right now which may explain Apple’s interest in shopping for a more competitively priced alternative.