2018 iPhone with 6.1-inch LCD might boast slender screen bezels after all

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The 2018 iPhone may sport a new type of LCD from Japan DIsplay with thinner screen bezels.
The 2018 iPhone may sport a new type of LCD from Japan Display with thinner screen bezels.
Photo: Japan Display

There’s good news and bad news about the more-affordable 6.1-inch iPhone supposedly in development. The good new is it may have bezels almost as thin as the iPhone X. The bad news is it’s not expected until November.

Apple is reportedly turning to a new type of LCD for this upcoming model. This will enable the slim bezels, but the supplier has run into production problems.

The LCD screen in the sole 2018 iPhone that isn’t an OLED will be supplied by Japan Display, according to Mac Otakara. It will use this company’s FULL ACTIVE technology, which enables the bottom bezel to be 0.5 millimeters. That’s thinner that the ones required by traditional LCDs.

Dealing with the “chin”

But still thicker than the almost non-existent bezels of the iPhone X. That’s unavoidable. Every screen has to connect to a display controller, which is why so many phones have a larger bezel at the bottom — sometime called the “chin.” Apple folds the iPhone X’s screen so the controller can be underneath. But this is only possible with OLED screens. Japan Display’s tech product can have a slender chin, but it’s still there.

According to images of screen protectors supposedly designed for the 2018 iPhones, Apple will make the bezels around the sides of the 6.1-inch version larger to de-emphasize the slight chin. 3D mockups of the device allegedly available to the Asian supply chain indicate the same thing.

2018 iPhone with 6.1-inch LCD: not in September

The other two iOS smartphones allegedly in development are expected to launch in September. Not this version. 

The 6.5- and 5.8-inch models will allegedly both have OLED screens, and there are no reported problems with them. But Mac Otakara reports Japan Display is having production problems that will delay the release of the mid-size version until almost Thanksgiving.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that the 6.1-inch iPhone will be delayed to November. An analyst said the same last week.

It might be worth the wait. It’s thought the 6.1-inch iPhone will cost between $600 and $700, which will make it at least $300 cheaper than the slightly smaller iPhone X. It is expected to offer Face ID, but will lose out on other features, such as 3D Touch and a secondary rear-facing camera.