Rumor: Apple Watch 3 will switch from touch-on-lens to glass-film displays

The Apple Watch 3 will probably switch from touch-on-lens (TOL) technology to a glass-film option, according to DigiTimes. With TOL, the touch technology is applied on the back side of the cover glass to eliminate the need for a separate touch panel. 

Taiwan-based TPK Holding has been a supplier of TOL panels for use in the smartwatch for two years, but since Apple adopted TOL (touch-on-lens) for the second generation Apple Watch in 2016, it’s been unable to hike yield rates for TOL touch panels at a reasonable level so may stop production for the Apple wearable devices, DigiTimes says, quoting unnamed “industry sources.”

Considering cost and yield rates, Apple will adopt a glass-film touch solution in place of TOL and have Taiwan-based General Interface Solution or Hong Kong-based Biel Crystal Manufactory produce the touch panels, with shipments to begin in the second half of 2017, the article adds. 

Glass-film technology uses two display structures, a thin glass on top of the touch screen and the a heavy duty film laminate. The surface of a glass-film panel is even more resistant to scratches, high temperatures, and is easier to clean.

Chances this rumors is true (IMHO): 90%. “DigiTimes” hasn’t always been the most reliable source for Apple news, but this report sounds logical.