Apple’s 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will enter trial production this month. Reuters/John Gress

Apple has tapped Japan-based Nichia to produce 0.3t LED chips for the upcoming LCD iPhone that’s debuting alongside the two new OLED iPhone models this coming September. The revelation comes ahead of the trial production for the only LCD variant in the 2018 iPhone lineup.

Industry watchers disclosed to Digitimes Tuesday that Apple has chosen Nichia to be the exclusive supplier of the LED chips, which Apple is using in the backlighting of the LTPS-LCD panels of the 6.1-inch model.

Apple is using 0.3t LED chips for the LCD iPhone to ensure that the handset would still have an almost bezel-less design. Apparently, 0.4t LED chips will create bottom bezels that are 4.0–4.5mm in width. On the other hand, 0.3t LED chips will only require around 2.0–2.5mm of bottom bezels.

The use of 0.3t LED chips in making the LCD iPhone will make the device competitive against its OLED siblings that are expected to have almost bezel-less designs just like last year’s iPhone X. Moreover, using 0.3t LED chips over 0.4t LED would lead to better accuracy and stability of the backlighting.

Nichia started trial production of 0.3t LED chips in the first half of this year. Meanwhile, Apple’s 6.1-inch LCD iPhone is expected to enter trial production this month. This will be followed by small-volume production next month and then mass production in September.

The news comes same day as BlueFin Research analysts John Donovan and Steve Mullane’s prediction that Apple will very likely discontinue the iPhone X and iPhone SE this coming fall, so it could shift its focus toward the upcoming trio of iPhones.

In their note to investors, the analysts also seemingly disclosed the names of the new iPhones when they called them “iPhone 9,” “iPhone 11” and “iPhone 11 Plus.” iPhone 9 is believed to be the name of the only LCD model. As for iPhone 11 and 11 Plus, they could be referring to the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED models.

Both Donovan and Mullane also predict Apple shipping 20 million, 60 million, 45 million and 40 million units in the first four quarters following the launch of the next-generation iPhones in September.