The iPhone 15 Pro Max could have the thinnest bezels ever – and that makes us nervous

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max may have the thinnest bezels ever seen on a smartphone, if a new rumor turns out to be correct.

This claim was circulated by Ice Universe (opens in new tab), a well-known leaker on Twitter, who believes the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s bezel width will be 1.55mm.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max will break the Xiaomi 13 record with a 1.81mm black bezel, and we measure that the cover plate black bezel is only 1.55mm wide. (S22 and S23 ≈ 1.95mm, iPhone 14 Pro 2.17mm) March 17, 2023

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As Ice Universe points out, this compares to the current record holder for the thinnest display bezels, the Xiaomi 13 at 1.81mm – a fact that helps this handset actually look very sleek.

MacRumors (opens in new tab), which spotted the tweet, clarifies that the Xiaomi 13 does indeed have 1.61mm bezels on three sides – it’s only 1.81mm on the bottom edge – but Apple is on in any case still set to the best measurement (in theory).

When the 1.55mm bezel width comes into play, considering the iPhone 14 Pro measures 2.17mm, that means Apple will have slimmed down its smartphone by almost 30%, which is no easy feat.

This certainly wouldn’t detract from the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s quest to look even more premium, and it will no doubt lead to some nice bragging rights to put in marketing materials.

The source is relatively reliable here, and of course we’ve already heard from the rumor mill that both iPhone 15 Pro models could get thinner bezels (with curved edges), giving weight to this speculation.

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Analysis: A really smart looking phone – but at what cost?

Assuming that’s Apple’s intention, frames that are almost a third narrower – and indeed the thinnest in the world – will obviously be a PR selling point, as mentioned. But do we really need that?

That’s a rather subjective thing. Some may fret that impossibly narrow bezels might not help on the fragility front. Others may think that the iPhone already has fairly slim bezels and that this is an unnecessary “upgrade”. To be fair to Apple, shrinking the bezels to almost a vanishing point level will likely increase aesthetic appeal relative to premium expectations. And here we are a bit worried that this might be related to the adjustment of premium prices.

Recently, rumors from the grapevine indicated that Apple intends to raise the price tags of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max (which would be the first price hike for Apple’s top-end phones since the iPhone, at least in the US). X debuted back in 2017).

And this news of a record-breaking display is another indication that the BOM for the iPhone 15 Pro models is being pushed up – and that the retail price could follow suit.

Other rumors hinting at the premium nature of the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s display include speculation that it could use a next-gen Samsung panel, which could be super bright and of really high quality. And we’ve also heard about a much faster A17 Bionic SoC, more RAM (8GB instead of 6GB) for the iPhone 15 Pro versions, and a periscope camera (for better optical zoom). Oh, and there’s the little thing about that titanium frame that also adds to the manufacturing cost…

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So the price of the iPhone 15 Pro models will increase? Yes, we can believe that, especially considering the specter of inflation and the fact that Apple’s smartphones haven’t seen any high-end price movement in six years (at least in the US).

The more we hear on the rumor mill about Apple pushing for that new feature or beefing up this or that element of the case, display or camera, the more it seems that a price hike is not only likely but looks pretty much inevitable, at least for Pro versions of the next-gen iPhone. The vanilla flavors might be a different story — but either way, we’ll almost certainly have to wait until September to find out.