updated 09:22 am EDT, Mon August 12, 2013
Thin film should help reduce thickness, weight
The fifth-generation iPad will adopt the same thin, film-based touch-panel technology used in the iPad mini, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The fourth-gen iPad uses a glass touch panel, which sandwiches between an LCD and cover glass to form a complete display. Since the Mini's film-based touch panel has been successful, however, Apple is planning to bring the technology to the flagship 9.7-inch iPad, the sources claim.
Weight has been a constant issue with the iPad. The first-gen model was widely criticized as too heavy to hold for long periods of time, and Apple applied a radical redesign to the iPad 2 to help solve the problem. Subsequent full-sized iPads have changed little form-wise, but Apple appears ready to change tack once again with the fifth-gen model. On top of the new touch panel, the tablet should switch to the same thin side bezels as the Mini, cutting even more unnecessary bulk.