iPhone 9 Leak Reveals Apple’s Radical Design

We all know which is the most exciting model out of all Apple AAPL -1.65%’s upcoming new iPhones, and it will also be the cheapest. The cost savings, however, were meant to come with one major compromise. But now this phone seems almost too good to be true…

In a fascinating new report, acclaimed Japanese website Macotakara revealed Apple’s so-called iPhone 9 or ‘budget iPhone X’ will use a radical display technology called ‘Full Active LCD’. This allows the budget model to have even thinner bezels than the second generation iPhone X (details) and new iPhone X Plus (details).

What enables this is a touch sensor made by Apple partner Japan Pixels, which it calls ‘Japan Pixel Eyes’. 9to5Mac notes a Full Active LCD means manufacturers can have bezels as thin as 0.5mm when the current iPhone X has a 1mm bezel. 9to5Mac also cites the Wall Street Journal which wrote back in September 2017 that Apple was using Japan Display to develop a Full Active LCD.

There’s just one problem.

Macotakara states that mass manufacturing of Full Active LCDs has a very high failure rate and this has impacted iPhone 9 production to the extent it may delay the launch until from September to November. A hold-up which was already leaked earlier this week. For my money though, a Full Active LCD iPhone 9 would be well worth the wait.

Interestingly, Macotakara’s report puts it in a face-off with popular leakers Ben Geskin (who successfully leaked the iPhone X last year) and Ice Universe (who has leaked the last three flagship Samsung Galaxy phones), as both believe the iPhone 9 will launch with larger bezels (1,2).

For its part, Macotakara has multiple scoops to its name, including that Apple would pull the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. Someone has to be wrong, and given 3D modelling has shown an iPhone 9 with larger bezels looks terrible – we have to hope Macotakara wins out.

Either way, 2019 is clearly the year Apple starts taking risks again (including with its premium models) and that’s great to see. Especially if the widely reported leaks of substantial price cuts turn out to be true…