Apple’s budget 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, also called the iPhone 9 by some circles, is back in the news. It seems the company is using new LED backlighting chips for the LCD screens to reduce bezel size.
Bezels have actually been one of the biggest topics of discussion when discussing the iPhone 9. The iPhone X has an edge-to-edge design because OLED bends, but LED panels aren’t as flexible. People were wondering how exactly Apple would make the entry-level iPhone look like its OLED siblings without that flexibility.
iPhone 9 Bezel Reduction
DigiTimes may have an answer to that question in its new report. As per industry sources, the Japan-based Nichia has become the exclusive supplier of LED chips for the 6.1-inch iPhone. Typically, LTPS-LCD handsets which use 0.4t LED chips have a bottom border measuring 4 – 4.5mm only.
Nichia’s 0.3t LED chips can cut that down to just 2 – 2.5mm, a considerable difference. The problem here is that these chipsets are “more difficult in accuracy and stability” than 0.4t LED chips. This might explain why we’ve been hearing reports about problems in the production process of the iPhone 9 which may or may not be slowing things down.
Apple has allegedly booked Nichia’s entire production capacity for the second half of 2018. The affordable iPhone X is set to go into trial production in July, small-volume production in August, and volume production in September.
As for the screen itself, Japan Display might be undertaking that responsibility with its Full Active LCD panels. A couple of leaks have indicated that there will be a bit more bezel as compared to an OLED display, but it won’t be nearly as thick as the one found in the iPhone 8 and others.
Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously claimed that the low-cost iPhone will start somewhere between $600 and $700. It might ditch 3D Touch to make that possible. There’s also a chance it’ll feature a single camera.