A new Wall Street Journal report claims that Apple has shown interest in buying advanced LCD panels from Japan Display for the 2018 iPhones. Dubbed Full Active LCDs by Japan Display, the company expects these new panels to account for over 70 percent of its business in smartphones and other smart devices by 2019.
JDI says its Full Active LCDs are able to offer the same advantages as OLED panels at a lower cost. These panels feature 0.5mm thin bezels — down from the few mm large bezels currently found in LCD displays. In comparison, OLED panels used in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG V30 have a bezel of around 1 millimetre.
Many smartphone OEMs have already started using Full Active LCD panels for their devices including Xiaomi for its Mi Mix 2 and the Essential Phone which features a notch display design similar to that of the iPhone X.
Apple is expected to make the switch to OLED panels for its entire iPhone lineup by 2019. However, due to the lack of suppliers and supply issues, the company has been looking at alternatives as well.
It is possible that until Japan Display and LG Display start manufacturing OLED panels on a scale good enough to meet Apple’s demand, the Cupertino company would switch over to Full Active LCD panels in its iPhone lineup as a stop-gap solution. Japan Display’s own OLED production plans are in jeopardy due to a lack of capital, while LG Display is looking for a capital infusion from external parties to help set up its OLED factory.