June 17, 2024

New iPhone 15 Exclusive Reveals Stunning Apple Design Decision

07/26 Update below. This post was originally published on July 23

In a development that backs up multiple design rumors, a new image leak reveals that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 15 Pro models may feature the thinnest bezels ever seen on a smartphone. The image, allegedly showing the screen glass and protectors for the iPhone 15 lineup, was shared by renowned tech leaker Ice Universe.

The image shows screens for the whole iPhone range — the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro Max — but it is the Pro models which capture the imagination. The screens Ice Universe attributes to the Pros have stunningly thin bezels, unlike anything we have seen on iPhones before. This revelation aligns with Ice Universe’s claim in March that the iPhone 15 Pro Max would boast the thinnest bezels in smartphone history.

In their earlier leak, Ice Universe stated that the iPhone 15 Pro bezels would measure just 1.55mm, breaking the record set by the Xiaomi 13 (1.81mm). They are also approximately 20% and 30% thinner than the Galaxy S23 and iPhone 14 Pro bezels, respectively.

Ice Universe has a commendable track record with iPhone leaks, having accurately predicted the smaller notch on the iPhone 13. If these latest leaks hold true, iPhone 15 Pro models could set a new standard in smartphone design, pushing the boundaries of screen-to-body ratio.

In addition, the leaked image also indicates that standard iPhone 15 models will move to the Dynamic Island design, introduced on iPhone 14 Pro models last year. This has been long expected, with consistently accurate display analyst Ross Young stating as far back as last year that the Dynamic Island feature would be incorporated across the entire iPhone 15 series.

The iPhone 15 range has already been criticized ahead of release for being “too medicore” of an upgrade, but there are a growing number of compelling features. In addition to their potentially record-breaking bezels, iPhone 15 Pros will have upgraded UWB to work with the upcoming Apple Vision Pro, use a super strong (potentially super light) titanium chassis, a next-gen 3nm A17 chipset, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max will have Apple’s first periscopic optical zoom lens.

As for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, they will lean heavily on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, using their Dynamic Island design, A16 chipset and 48-megapixel primary camera, while all iPhone 15 models will come with USB-C. Yes, this is more modest, but standard models also look set to escape the hefty price rises tipped for iPhone 15 Pro models.

The decision between an iPhone 15 and an iPhone 15 Pro may be a lot harder this year.

07/25 Update: Apple’s quest for ever-thinner iPhone bezels doesn’t look like stopping with the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. According to a new report from The Elec, Apple has requested Samsung and LG Display to create new “Bezelless” OLED panels.

Apple allegedly wants flat displays which will fit in the existing iPhone chassis design, in contrast to the curved panels used by rivals to create the illusion of an ultra-thin bezel edge. According to The Elec, the reasoning behind this is Apple wants to avoid distortion and durability issues associated with those panels, factors which have polarized users around curved displays.

Moreover, Apple is not hanging around with this tech. The Elec states that Apple wants to introduce these bezelless OLED displays with the iPhone 17 in 2025. This would align with rumors that the iPhone 17 will be the first iPhone to feature under-display Face ID recognition, allowing the company to remove the pill-shaped cutout it introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro.

07/26 Update: Leakers are not just the only source of information about Apple’s upcoming iPhone plans. Thanks to code found in the new iOS 17 beta 4 release, Apple itself has now revealed a potentially major upgrade coming to both iPhones and iPads.

Discovered by 9to5Mac, iOS 17 beta 4 contains references to ‘Game Mode,’ the upcoming macOS Sonoma feature that enables Macs and MacBooks to boost system performance when playing games. The same references can also be found in iPadOS 17 beta 4, implying a rollout of the feature to both iPhones and iPads.

Apple has not previously discussed Game Mode as coming to either device, and 9to5Mac states that these references are “hidden in the system’s code.” This means that either Apple is hoping to spring a surprise when iOS 17 launches (historically, it is a fan of unexpected feature drops), or the company is non-commital at this stage and simply experimenting with the feature, which may or may not arrive at a later date.

It is also worth noting that a number of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 features are restricted to new iPhones and iPads, and I would not expect Game Mode to be available on every device.

Would Apple limit Game Mode to the upcoming iPhone 15 models? I suspect not, given the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will use the same A16 chipset as iPhone 14 Pro models. Similarly, restricting it to the A17-based iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max would go down like a lead balloon, and the limited number of support devices would disincentivize game developers from adopting it.

Either way, with more iOS 17 betas due before the next-gen update launches in September, I suspect there will be many more Apple secrets spilled before release.

More on Forbes

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