Apple's ultra-thin iPhone 16 bezels could be scuppered by manufacturing complexities

Apple has been tipped to shrink the iPhone 16 series' bezels yet further but a new report suggests manufacturing problems might get in the way.

1 minute & 38 seconds read time

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro devices later this year and we've been hearing that at least some of the models will feature ultra-thin bezels. While it's expected that the change will come to the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, a new report on the subject simply says iPhone 16 - it isn't clear whether that's simply a misunderstanding or if all four new iPhones will benefit from the switch this year. Regardless the news for the new bezels as a whole isn't promising.

According to the report by The Elec, Apples supply chain is struggling with the new Border Reduction Struction, or BRS, technology that is used to shrink the bezels yet further. In fact, the report claims that no company has so far been able to produce the displays to Apple's satisfaction.

Apple's ultra-thin iPhone 16 bezels could be scuppered by manufacturing complexities 02

The new BRS technology makes the bottom bezel thin in particular. It does that by more tightly packing the circuitry beneath the display and bending some wiring in the process. It's that which is thought to be causing supply partners some issues, with LG Display and Samsung Display struggling currently. The two companies are familiar with Apple, the iPhone, and the standards required but have so far struggled to meet them.

Such technology has historically been problematic due to the heat generated by the displays and the potential for overheating. However, it's thought that Apple and its partners have been able to solve that problem by using new heat dissipation techniques.

Notably, the iPhone 16 Pro is expected to feature a new 6.3-inch display, up from 6.1 inches, while the iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a new 6.9-inch display, up from the previous 6.7 inches/ The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus aren't expected to grow in the same way, perhaps suggesting that the new display technology will not be implemented in those devices.

If Apple follows its usual release cadence we can expect it to announce the new iPhones at an event in the first part of September. It will then make the new handsets available for preorder that week before making them available to buy the following Friday.

Apple is also expected to announce the new Apple Watch X during the same event while a refreshed Apple Watch Ultra is also likely to be in the cards - the new wearables will likely follow the same release pattern as the new iPhones.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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