The persistent rumor of a touchscreen iMac
got a boost today with a report out of China that Apple is buying samples from at least one top manufacturer. According to the prolifically random publication DigiTimes
, Sintek Photronics has sent samples of "projected capacitive touch panels
to Apple to be incorporated in the latest iMac all-in-one (AIO) PC." The brief report made no mention of any expected shipping date of an actual desktop computer with a touchscreen.
The idea that Apple is looking to implement multitouch screens on its desktop and laptop computers has been around for a while, going back as far as January, when we were told that Apple would be shipping a 22-inch touchscreen iMac
by the second half of this year. That obviously didn't happen, despite a second round of rumors
in June. These rumors sort of cross-pollinated with rumors that Apple was going to be switching its desktop and laptop computers over to iOS, which was bolstered by a patent revealed in August
which described technology that would allow a computer to switch from Mac OS X when it was vertical to iOS when it was horizontal.
Today's report doesn't talk about OSes at all, focusing instead on the manufacturing aspect. Large touchscreens (over 20 inches diagonal) are very complex and expensive to build, and DigiTimes
points to Sintek's advanced production facilities as a reason why Apple is purportedly going with that manufacturer. The panels are produced by placing a fine grid of capacitive sensors on the LCD panel with glass on top of that, bonded together in what DigiTimes refers to as a "one-glass" design.
Take this report with a grain - maybe a pound - of salt. DigiTimes
has been all over the map with its predictions, as the East Asian supply chain seems like it's got more gossip in it than your average junior high school. However, the question about a touchscreen Mac is not if, just when. Apple has put too many resources into multitouch, with iOS and products like the Magic Trackpad, to stay with the mouse and keyboard forever.
, image via Gadget Review