Entire iPhone 16 lineup tipped to have the thinnest bezels yet, here's how Apple is expected to do it

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract multi-colored retro background.
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

As we reach the end of March we also reach the mid-way point between the September 2023 iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro launch and the expected September 2024 unveiling of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro. From here on out we can start to expect more and more leaks in relation to what will become Apple's best iPhones towards the end of this year, and the latest report adds further color to the expectation that the new models will sport smaller display bezels than have previously been found on iPhones.

The report claims that Apple will use a technology that it's looked at before — Border Reduction Structure, or BRS — to shrink the upcoming iPhones' bezels beyond even those found on the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max. Those bezels were already notably smaller than those found on any iPhone that came before, and it's now thought that Apple will up the ante yet further with its next round of releases.

However, it's important to note that there is still a chance that Apple's plans could change and given the fact that Apple reportedly looked into the super-thin bezel technology before the release of the iPhone 15 Pro models, it's possible it could still decide against it this time out. If not, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro could be the most futuristic-looking devices to date.

Bezels? What bezels?

The report comes via the Korean outlet SisaJournal, spotted by MacRumors, which claims that Apple will use the BRS technology to shrink the display's borders more than ever before.

The technology, we're told, allows displays to have a key component moved in order to reduce the amount of clearance required.

"According to the smartphone industry on the 19th, Apple plans to apply BRS technology to the iPhone 16 series display," the report explains. "BRS technology is a borderless display technology that designs the border at the bottom of the panel to be as thin as possible. It reduces the bezel area underneath by rolling the copper wires at the bottom upward."

It's thought that Apple intends to use this technology across the entire iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro lineups only after ditching plans to use it last year over heat concerns. However, an unnamed display official told the outlet that heat dissipation technologies have been improved to the point where Apple appears ready to try again. Samsung Display, LG Display, and BOE are all thought to have been lined up to produce displays using the new technology.

While the display size of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus isn't expected to change, the iPhone 16 Pro is expected to grow from 6.1 inches to around 6.3 inches. Similarly, the iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to sport a 6.9-inch display, an increase over the 6.7-inch size of previous Pro Max models. Despite the shrinking of bezels, the devices are still expected to grow slightly.

Despite the smaller bezels and lack of display size increase Apple's iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus aren't expected to shrink. Instead, it seems likely that Apple will use the saved space to rearrange internal components.

If Apple follows its usual release cadence we can expect it to announce the new iPhones this September and make them available to buy around 10 days later. New chips, camera improvements, and a focus on AI technology are expected to be the key changes while the iOS 18 update is likely to bring some of those AI features to older iPhones, too.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.