Apple is reportedly developing a single-chip solution for handling both the touchscreen and display drivers for future iPhones, according to a new report coming out of Taiwan.
Interestingly the report suggests that the integrated design is designed to fit into an ultra-thin and ultra-narrow display — while also allowing Apple to completely eliminate the need for a physical iPhone “home” button by integrating fingerprint sensors into the main display.
If correct, the report is interesting for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the elimination of a “home” button in favor of a virtual one would let Apple to free up more space for a display, without having to increase the physical size of the iPhone form factor to do so.
It also suggests that Apple is bringing more of its chip design in-house. From advertising to designing the CPUs for its products, Apple has brought more and more previously third-party business areas under its roof in recent times, since this enhances the amount of control (and secrecy) Apple is able to have.
As today’s report notes, however, the expansion of Apple’s in-house design business could have a “significant impact on the global semiconductor industry landscape.”
This would be felt particularly hard at a time when the worldwide semiconductor industry is already experiencing numerous shake-ups in the form of various mergers and acquisitions have been announced — such as Avago’s planned acquisition of major Apple supplier, Broadcom.