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The latest crop of Apple-related rumors suggest the iPhone 5's successor could make an appearance as soon as this spring. In addition, whispers from anonymous Chinese sources indicate that Apple is exploring a new touch display technology (Chinese) developed by display-maker (and Foxconn subsidiary) Chimei Innolux. Known as "Touch On", the company's approach to making touchable display panels could supplant the "in-cell" design adapted for the iPhone 5.
One of the new features touted with the introduction of the iPhone 5 was its in-cell touch technology -- a physical marriage between display and touch-sensing electronics which were essentially laminated together. Despite the obvious, costly implications of breaking (and repairing) an entirely fused-together display, the in-cell method of producing touch-capable panels provided Apple with enticingly thin display assemblies by removing the digitizer layer. As a result, Apple was able to shave an appreciable amount of thickness from the device.
Interestingly though, in-cell -- like most other touch technologies -- suffers from an appreciable amount of input lag. In the iPhone 5's case though, in-cell has been attributed to a noticeable increase of lag over previous models. In fact, the lag has where quick finger-work is important.
Touch On is believed to address such lag issues, but should also enable Apple to keep their displays (and phones) every bit as thin as in-cell currently allows. This is where rumors of Apple turning to Chimei Innolux make sense, but don't let that fool you -- rumors aren't always correct, of course.
The iPad mini packs a dual-core A5 processor, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, a FaceTime HD camera, 5-megapixel rear iSight camera with 1080p recording and an optional LTE radio. The Mini sports a 7.9-inch display and 1,024 x 768 resolution. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours.
The 4th generation iPad sports a beefier A6X processor for double the CPU and graphics performance (versus iPad 3), an improved FaceTime camera that supports 720p resolution, the new Lightning connector, 802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi and the same image signal processor found in the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The Apple iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
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