The new iPhone 15 Exclusive confirms Apple’s impressive design choice

03/21 updated below. This post was originally published on March 18th

We already know a lot about the iPhone 15 lineup, including a new design for standard models, even bigger cameras, ballistic performance, and the end of the road for Lightning. But now they could also be record breakers.

According to a new tweet from respected industry insider Ice Universe, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will have the thinnest “Bezel Black Edge” (aka the black edge between the display and body) of any smartphone.

The leaker says they measure just 1.55mm, breaking the record set by the Xiaomi 13 (1.81mm). They’re also about 20% and 30% thinner than the bezels on the Galaxy S23 and iPhone 14 Pro, respectively.

While the numbers are small here, the bezel size is always noticeable, as the black border is broken by continuity. Below is a scale rendering made for me by @Hanstsaiz showing what the new bezel will look like:

Breaking 1.55mm bezels @Hanstsaiz

A smaller bezel is more immersive, allowing either a larger screen to be fitted into the same body or a more compact device to be made with the same screen size as its predecessor. Based on the recently leaked dimensions of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, Apple has opted for the latter with slightly more pocket-friendly devices.

The only caveat to this good news is that Ice Universe has previously leaked iPhone 15 Pro CADs that are at odds with others. Although overall dimensions match, Ice Universe’s CADs show a flatter rear camera, while other renders show Apple’s largest rear camera to date.

Still, the broader narrative here is intriguing. For many years Apple was mocked for the thick bezels of the iPhone – particularly the iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and 8 – and the range could be a record breaker. All of this confirms the old adage about Apple’s approach to features and products: Good things come to those who wait.

Update 3/20: Respectable leaker Sonny Dickson contacted me to share more images of the new super-thin iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max bezels alongside an iPhone 15. As the renders indicated, the new Pro bezels are amazingly thin and unlike any smartphone I’ve seen before.

“The screen is curved around the display, so ordinary glass used on the iPhone 15’s screen has a white border,” Dickson cites his source as revealing. “The 12/13/14 series screens are flat with 2Dradians on the edges. But the iPhone 15 screen will change. So its screen edge in radians becomes 2.5D [case makers will] need to change the screen protector.”

Dickson then shared the images on his Twitter account:

The leaker also shared me a video of the new iPhone 15 Pro Max display that he didn’t share on social media, which can be viewed below.

YouTubeiPhone 15 Pro Max bezels – a new record for the narrowest bezels on a smartphone

It’s a striking new design that reinforces the premium look of the phones. Something that will be necessary given the growing number of reports claiming that Apple will be introducing significant price increases.

March 21 update: The transition of the iPhone 15 range to USB-C is both highly anticipated and long overdue. But influential analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed it won’t be everything iPhone fans were hoping for.

In a new blog post, Kuo reveals that unless you’re using an MFi (Made for iPhone)-approved USB-C cable, Apple will limit the performance of the universal connector. This plays out in two ways. First, charging speeds are downgraded on all non-MFi cables. Second, the long-rumored faster data rates exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models will be subject to the same limitations.

Both caveats were shared by reliable leaker ShrimpApplePro earlier this month, but this is the first time a heavyweight like Kuo has gotten involved. If the decision is right, it’s likely to anger iPhone fans and possibly even the European Union, which has passed laws around the standard to avoid further fragmentation.

In Apple’s defense, the market for third-party USB-C cables has been wild for a while, and the company may well argue that it simply puts customer safety first. On the downside, the market has matured significantly since then, which makes the move feel aggressive and ponderous — especially given Apple’s extensive marketing around its green credentials.

As such, it looks like iPhone 15 range buyers will have to pay more no matter how many USB-C cables you have in your drawers.

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MORE FROM FORBESNew Apple Exclusive Reveals iPhone 15 Price ShockBy Gordon Kelly

I am an experienced freelance technical journalist. In addition to Forbes, I have written for Wired, The Next Web, TrustedReviews, The Guardian and the BBC. I started in B2B print journalism, covering tech companies at the height of the dot-com boom and transitioned to covering consumer tech when the iPod was starting to catch on. A career highlight for me was being a founding member of TrustedReviews. It started in 2003 and we were repeatedly told that websites couldn’t compete with print! Within four years, we were acquired by IPC Media (Time Warner’s publishing division) to become their flagship tech title. What fascinates me are the machinations of the biggest technology companies. Got a pitch, tip or leak? Contact me on my professional Facebook page. I do not bite.

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