Apple usurps entire LCD LED supply line to ensure thinner bezels on the iPhone 2018

Way back in September, even before the iPhone X had hit the shelves, we first heard about a potential 6"+ iPhone with LCD display, coming our way this year. Previously, even famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, had tipped that Apple will pull its OLED iPhone schedule forward a year, and all 2018 models would be equipped with such panels, out of Face ID, notch, and "all-screen" design considerations.

Apple, however, reportedly scrapped plans for a smaller, 5.28" iPhone for this year, and replaced it with a 6.1" LCD model, as it rightfully concluded that people have moved on to larger displays with a minimum amount of frame width around them. Still, this expected 6" iPhone 2018 is reportedly going to land as the gateway model to the Face ID experience this year, at a $700 price, cheaper than the eventual 5.8" iPhone X heir, and its rumored 6.46" X Plus sidekick, both of which are said to come with OLED displays.

So far so good, Apple is allegedly going to use JDI's semi-flexible Full Active LCD display panel to go around the notch on the 2018 iPhone, yet the problem with the bezel width remains, as there just isn't a way to supply that extra backlighting layer that LCDs require without some thickening of the base compared to OLEDs. Enter Japan's Nichia, which has allegedly been chosen as the backlighting supplier for Apple's 6-incher. It has managed to move from 0.4t to 0.3t LEDs for the backlighting, ensuring bezels in the realm of 2-2.5mm, instead of the 4-4.5mm possible on current LCD phones. Nichia's production is reportedly been booked by Apple almost entirely to ramp up into mass quantities come September when the 2018 iPhone is to be revealed.

Apple usually works with display suppliers to tailor the size, resolution, and color fidelity to its own desired specifications. Thus, the only characteristics left over by the time JDI starts shipping for Apple may be the Full Active ones - flexibility, durability, minimum bezels, and what it calls PixelEyes, encompassing technologies like in-cell touch and deeper black levels than what conventional LCDs are capable of. Any of those can be tweaked by Apple further for its own needs, and, even though the iPhone 2018 may land with slightly thicker bezels than its OLED counterparts, it should have a bezel to behold, at least for LCD phone standards.

source: Digitimes via 9to5Mac & Ben Geskin (Twitter)
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless