Last year, only Apple’s OLED iPhone X was the recipient of the edge-to-edge infinite display. Owners of the regular iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, meanwhile, had to endure the indignity of the old fashioned iPhone design, complete with bezel.
That appears set to change with the 2018-era iPhone refresh, however. And a new report reveals the technology that will make it all possible.
Later this year, Apple will reportedly release three new handsets, with one LCD iPhone and two OLED models. These will include a 5.8-inch iPhone X successor, a 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus model, and a more affordable 6.1-inch LCD iPhone.
The two OLED iPhones will use the same technology that allowed Apple to make edge-to-edge displays for the iPhone X. However, up until now we didn’t know how Apple would create a similar display for the LCD model, if indeed this was Apple’s plan at all.
More details on the LCD iPhone
Now it suggests that it is — as Apple has agreed terms with Japan-based Nichia to become the exclusive supplier of 0.3t LED chips for use in backlighting the new 6.1-inch LCD iPhones. The crucial detail in the report notes that:
“While LTPS-LCD smartphone screens with backlights using 0.4t LED chips have bottom bezels of 4.0-4.5mm, use of 0.3t LED chips can reduce them to 2.0-2.5mm, enhancing LCD screens’ competitiveness against OLED all (bezel-free) screens panels, the sources explained.”
The new 6.1-inch iPhone is expected to enter trial production this month, while small volume production will begin next month. Volume production will then commence in September, shortly prior to Apple announcing the next-gen iPhones.
According to a Digitimes report, Nichia’s production capacity for 0.3t LED chips is almost totally booked up by Apple in the second half of 2018. While there’s no breakdown on what percentage of the new iPhones will be LCD models, a report published earlier today suggests that the 2018 iPhones are likely to be produced in unprecedented numbers by Apple.