Apple may use Full Active LCD over OLED to create next-gen bezel-less iPhones

“Apple Inc. has expressed interest in buying advanced liquid-crystal displays from Japan Display Inc. for some iPhones next year, people knowledgeable about the matter said, a sign the technology has life despite competition from a newer type of display,” Takashi Mochizuki and Yoko Kubota report for The Wall Street Journal. “Japan Display said last month that the advanced displays, which it calls Full Active, would account for more than 70% of its business in panels for smartphones and other smart devices in the year ending March 2019. ”

“Asked at a Tuesday news conference about customers for the Full Active displays, Kazutaka Nagaoka, chief of Japan Display’s mobile unit, said clients so far were mostly Chinese handset makers including Xiaomi Inc., which he said used the panel for its Mi Mix 2 phone,” Mochizuki and Kubota report.

Mi Mix 2 with Full Active LCD display
Mi Mix 2 with Full Active LCD display
“People at companies that work with Japan Display said interest about Full Active LCDs has also come from Apple. That is why the display maker is predicting rapid uptake for Full Active, they said.”

“Analysts expect Apple and other smartphone makers to shift gradually to newer organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screens, in part because it is easier to make curved or angled screens using OLED and because the newer technology may offer displays with more contrast. However, cost and supply issues are likely to slow down any transition, analysts say,” Mochizuki and Kubota report. “Japan Display argues that its improved LCD screens can match or exceed some of OLED’s advantages at lower cost. In Full Active, the bezel or border space around each edge of the screen has been trimmed to 0.5 millimeters, the company says, compared with as much as several millimeters on older LCDs. Minatake Kashio, director of Tokyo-based consultancy Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, said current OLED smartphone panels have a bezel of about one millimeter. Japan Display is working on a version of Full Active that it says would match the OLED technology in enabling phone makers to offer curved screens.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If the quality is there and the price/yields/production capacity are good, why not?

Apple supplier Japan Display wins $640 million from government-backed fund to boost OLED tech as Apple eyes new iPhone display – December 21, 2016
Japan Display CEO hints at strong Apple orders ahead of new iPhone launch – September 3, 2015
Japan Display and Apple to build new $1.4 billion plant for iPhone Retina displays – March 6, 2015


  1. If part of the problem of having TouchID embedded in the screen was incompatibility with OLED and Full Active LCD makes it ‘easier’ to implement, Full Active may be a serious choice even if there is a battery life hit.

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