Apple Working On E-Ink/Touchscreen Hybrid For iPads And iPhones

Hybrid Display for iPhone

Right now, it’s hard to read an e-book on your iPhone or iPad in direct sunlight. It’s easier to read an Amazon Kindle outside, because it uses e-ink.

But you can’t read a Kindle in the dark because it’s not backlit. Also, it’s not a touchscreen.

What if you could make a screen that is sometimes like Amazon’s E-Ink screen, and sometimes like Apple’s backlit touchscreen?

What if, indeed, says Apple, in a new patent filing.


Apple has shown interest in creating a new iPad with a hybrid display that could dynamically switch all or just part of the full-colour screen to low-power black-and-white e-ink for text and other static content.

The new dynamic, hybrid system described by Apple could have sections of the screen operate as a traditional LCD screen for displaying video, while other parts with static content would be served up in e-ink. Rather than depending on the user to switch between e-ink and LCD, Apple’s system would handle the work and provide content in the ideal context.

Apple’s interest in the technology was revealed this week in a new patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The filing, entitled “Systems and Methods for Switching Between an Electronic Paper Display and a Video Display,” describes hardware that can selectively switch between the two types of screens.

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