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Rumors: Apple prepping bezel-free design, Sony FaceTime camera for 'iPhone 6'

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
A Tuesday afternoon rumor out of South Korea suggests that Apple may be considering an edge-to-edge display for the eighth-generation iPhone, while Japanese media reports that Sony is in talks to supply front-facing FaceTime camera modules for the handset in addition to the rear iSight camera components.

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Mockup of iPhone with 4.94-inch screen, created by Marco Arment.


Apple is said to be testing prototypes of the so-called "iPhone 6" that lack bezels surrounding the devices' displays, according to the Korea Herald. Rumors of an iPhone featuring a bezel-less design have been circulating for years, with one report last November claiming that Apple was working on handsets with "larger displays with glass that curves downward at the edges."

The display is also thought to feature integrated fingerprint sensing capabilities, technology that Apple has previously detailed in patent filings. It is unclear whether that would mean the end of the Touch ID-infused home button, or indeed the end of the home button all together.

In addition, the iPhone 6 could sport a new Sony-supplied front-facing camera. The Japanese electronics giant is believed to be negotiating a new agreement that would see its shipments of CMOS camera modules to Apple double as early as next year, Nikkei Asian Review said in a new report.

Sony reportedly purchased a semiconductor manufacturing facility from Japanese manufacturer Renesas Electronics as a precursor to the Apple deal. After an initial investment of some ?35 billion ($342 million), the plant will boost Sony's CMOS manufacturing capacity by 25 percent per month.
post #2 of 83
There must be a template in Huddler for "yet another iPhone 6 rumor" with Marco Arment's mockup already pre-loaded. 1smile.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #3 of 83

A smaller bezel makes sense when going for a larger screen. Should be an interesting physical hardware design.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 83

I had read a very similar story about Samsung earlier this morning and decided to click the Korea Herald link to find out what was being written about Apple. To my surprise, here is the title of the news article... 

 

Galaxy S5, iPhone 6 to come bezel-free

Samsung, Apple vie to roll out slimmer, savvier next-generation smartphones

One Web site read the story and focused its article on Samsung. This Web site focused on Apple.

 

I got the impression the Korea Herald needed to present competition between Apple and Samsung in an attempt to make Samsung look better. Oh well. We will all see if Samsung can develop a consistently working fingerprint sensor in time for the Mobile World Congress event on February 24th.

post #5 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

There must be a template in Huddler for "yet another iPhone 6 rumor" with Marco Arment's mockup already pre-loaded. 1smile.gif

 

Indeed.  They don't yet have a bezel-free mockup, so AI is going on autopilot!

post #6 of 83
If not completely bezel-free, I feel they could at least do something similar to the HTC One where the glossy black bezel (which matches the display when off) goes all the way to the edge. It gives a much cleaner appearance, not unlike the MacBook Pro.

Of course this would also let them increase the display size without increasing the overall device size too much.
post #7 of 83

bezel free will require no home button and saffire screen for touch id to work

post #8 of 83

Etched from a single piece of sapphire enhanced glass.

post #9 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
 

Etched from a single piece of sapphire enhanced glass.

 

If Apple truly have found a way to produce reliable, non fragile sapphire sheets for iPhone fronts that's one hell of an advantage. I'm not convinced by 'in-display' fingerprint sensors, it would seem an awful lot of cost and complexity to avoid a user having to touch the home button.

 

Having said that, I think the home button is sorta reaching the EOL. It already encompasses so many different functions, I think it's time to look at whether there's anything better. I quite like Android's software button design, but I wish they were real physical buttons some of the time. It's a problem from either perspective as physical buttons can't be hidden and a display placed there, but software buttons don't have good tactile feedback.

 

Either way, the next gen of phones will be very interesting indeed.

post #10 of 83

Not sure why one would use a graphic that illustrates exactly what you're NOT talking about, but…ok.

post #11 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post
 

Not sure why one would use a graphic that illustrates exactly what you're NOT talking about, but…ok.

The Korea Herald displayed a graphic of the iPhone 6 concept smartphone...

 

 

 

 

The concept S5 still had buttons.

post #12 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

bezel free will require no home button and saffire screen for touch id to work

Side bezels.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View PostThe Korea Herald displayed a graphic of the iPhone 6 concept smartphone...

 

 

 

this would allow to increase the screen size to 4.5" with almost no footprint increase. IF they can integrate the fingerprint scan on the screen and find a software way to get out of app, they could put a "home" button on the sides because it will be used a lot less.

 

with buttons:


Edited by herbapou - 2/11/14 at 12:07pm
post #14 of 83

This is an exciting rumor!  The iPhone has way too much bezel right now.  I don't expect it to have no bezel at all because from what I've read, there has to be some margin to leave space for side buttons.  LG gave that as the reason for the transition to its backside button placement on the G2, which has the smallest bezels yet on a phone that I'm aware of.

post #15 of 83
That's how you use a flexible display. You pull down the edges so it appears to be edgeless. The contacts are then vertical along the sides. You would need to make the edges curved, not a hard edge like the current iPhone, so that the maximum bend is not exceeded for the flexible display. Later models could pull the display all the way over the edge and down the sides to some degree allowing information and controls (volume for example) to be shown along the edges.
post #16 of 83
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

this would allow to increase the screen size to 4.5" with almost no footprint increase.

 

Why not just keep the screen the same size and decrease the footprint? People want to whine about “how much” of their phone is screen, that’s their problem. No bezel does not inherently a better device make.

 

I don’t get it. People want a larger screen, so they can’t use the phone with one hand. And they also want no bezels and no Home Button… so they also can’t use the phone with two hands! How dumb can you get? Why would anyone want this?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #17 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I don’t get it. People want a larger screen, so they can’t use the phone with one hand. And they also want no bezels and no Home Button… so they also can’t use the phone with two hands! How dumb can you get? Why would anyone want this?

 

You can have a larger screen without making single handed use impossible, some people have large hands. You also can still use a phone with two hands with minimal side bezels.

 

I don't understand why you think this is dumb. Both the example mockups given above would be functional and useful.

post #18 of 83
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post

some people have large hands.

 

Yeah; I’m one of them.

 
You also can still use a phone with two hands with minimal side bezels.

 

Good luck.

 
I don't understand why you think this is dumb.

 

Gee, I wonder why I’d think that reducing usability of a device in all modes of use would be dumb!

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #19 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Yeah; I’m one of them.

 

Good luck.

I'm sorry, could you please describe how it's impossible to use two hands? I have a Nexus 5, which is bigger than an iPhone would be, has very small side bezels and the screen occupies around 3/4 of the front face entirely. I can still use it fine with two hands and although it can be a stretch to go from one corner to the other with just a thumb, it's also perfectly acceptable.

 

How would an iPhone possibly be worse than this?

post #20 of 83
How do you go bezel-free *and* have a front-facing camera? I can see no bezels on the side, but not the top and bottom. What about the speaker? It could possibly go on top, but that wouldn't be ideal.

I have a hard time buying the rumor that the home screen will go away. I don't think the technology is there for in-screen fingerprint scanning, and the home button has so many functions mapped to it already that it be difficult to match them all to gestures (especially without displacing any of the existing gestures).

One possibility is a software-based home button a la Android, but that would be a terrible idea. No tactility, no way to press it to wake the device (and with Touch ID, don't forget that that action also unlocks it), it takes up valuable screen real estate, and it would require developers to code for yet another form factor. That's a long list of cons just to make the front look a little nicer.
post #21 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Why not just keep the screen the same size and decrease the footprint?

 

Now you want to reduce the bezels.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

People want to whine about “how much” of their phone is screen, that’s their problem.

 

Now you don't.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

I don’t get it. People want a larger screen, so they can’t use the phone with one hand. And they also want no bezels and no Home Button… so they also can’t use the phone with two hands! How dumb can you get? Why would anyone want this?

 

People want a larger screen because of the benefits like better readability, a more immersive experience, and more information viewable at once.  They have decided that those benefits outweigh the decrease in one-handed usability.  That said, larger screens than what is on the iPhone can still comfortably be used with one hand, though maybe less comfortably.  The Moto X is the prime example.  It's well within the range of one-handed use because of its compact design and ergonomic shape.

post #22 of 83
melior diabolus quem scies
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post #23 of 83

Am I the only one who thinks it looks ugly without side bezels?

post #24 of 83

FULLY EXPECTED THIS.

 

But Apple is going to have to come up with a better solution for the Home button eventually, and after 7 years, it has gotten a little long in the tooth. It's an elementary learning tool for the idevice, that really isn't needed once someone is comfortable with the concept, like the one-button mouse. Way too much room is taken up on the device with the home button. Perhaps moving it to the back side in order to keep the current functionality and use it with one hand?

post #25 of 83
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
[image]

 

Nice and slanted, just the way you like your information.

 
 

 

OFFICIAL SEAL OF QUALITY.


Edited by Tallest Skil - 2/12/14 at 6:33am

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #26 of 83
The report mostly focuses on the S5 having these features (bezel-free and in screen fingerprint scanner). So let's first see later this month if the S5 has it, then we know if this rumor is bogus or not.
Edited by Chipsy - 2/11/14 at 1:43pm
post #27 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

[image]

Posting that image without any context isn't a salient argument. I'm not sure there is an argument that can be made here considering it omits the size of the display. Wouldn't it be better to have instead posted the area of non-dispaly area for each device or the side bezel width of each device? I think so.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #28 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Posting that image without any context isn't a salient argument. I'm not sure there is an argument that can be made here considering it omits the size of the display. Wouldn't it be better to have instead posted the area of non-dispaly area for each device or the side bezel width of each device? I think so.

I don't think so. The size of the display only matters if you're assuming that you need to account for a "physical button/speaker constant." But that really isn't the case. a circular button can only get so small, but a different shape isn't bound in this sense. Also the speaker/mic can be displaced or minimized.

If you account for the possibility that a screen could be 100% of the front surface, all of this is furthermore irrelevant. (A 2cm screen and 2m screen are both 100%.)

If you assume that there must be SOME bezel, that constant is still approaching zero (mathematically,) and is marginal if it is sufficiently small and the screen is sufficiently big (fractions of a percent of area.)
post #29 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

I don't think so. The size of the display only matters if you're assuming that you need to account for a "physical button/speaker constant." But that really isn't the case. a circular button can only get so small, but a different shape isn't bound in this sense. Also the speaker/mic can be displaced or minimized.

If you account for the possibility that a screen could be 100% of the front surface, all of this is furthermore irrelevant. (A 2cm screen and 2m screen are both 100%.)

If you assume that there must be SOME bezel, that constant is still approaching zero (mathematically,) and is marginal if it is sufficiently small and the screen is sufficiently big (fractions of a percent of area.)

1) You're making my point for me and it has nothing to do with the size of the home button. It's a percentage of the footprint that isn't a screen, but since the screen sizes are so different even a much larger bezel on a 6" phone will look like it's smaller than on a 3.5" phone looking at only that percentages, which is why this measure is pointless.

2) I see no possibility for the entire front surface to be a display if they are going to continue to use rounded corners.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #30 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Posting that image without any context isn't a salient argument. I'm not sure there is an argument that can be made here considering it omits the size of the display. Wouldn't it be better to have instead posted the area of non-dispaly area for each device or the side bezel width of each device? I think so.

It wasn't posted to prove anything. It was simply as reference. With that said, from an article at 9to5 that commented on it:

"Apple is at a disadvantage because of the home button/Touch ID rather than the on screen buttons of Android. Also, the iPhone is symmetric meaning the same big bezel on the bottom is needed at the top so that the screen sits in the exact middle of the phone."
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post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) You're making my point for me and it has nothing to do with the size of the home button. It's a percentage of the footprint that isn't a screen, but since the screen sizes are so different even a much larger bezel on a 6" phone will look like it's smaller than on a 3.5" phone looking at only that percentages, which is why this measure is pointless.

2) I see no possibility for the entire front surface to be a display if they are going to continue to use rounded corners.

1) I'll grant you that a bezel with a fixed height will have a diminishing percent of the area as the screen size increases, but what I'm saying is that either the bezel isn't fixed, or the bezel is fixed at a height that is negligible. It would seem strange indeed if a 2cm screen had a 2cm (height) bezel. And it would also seem to follow that a larger screen would have an increasingly large bezel until it ceased to be of any use. (starting at 2cm screen size, as you increase the screen area the bezel area will increase until a larger bezel no longer makes sense.)

If we apply this reasoning, then it follows that the size of the bezel is a function of the screen size, within a restricted domain (neither too small nor too big) and should be proportional (although not linear) as screen size increases.

But if we don't follow this reasoning, and assume that the bezel is independent of the screen size (i.e. a 2mm bezel fits a 2cm screen as well as it fits 2m screen) then the area of the bezel is negligible.

2) They may do without the rounded corners or not. That is a design choice.
post #32 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It wasn't posted to prove anything. It was simply as reference. With that said, from an article at 9to5 that commented on it:

"Apple is at a disadvantage because of the home button/Touch ID rather than the on screen buttons of Android. Also, the iPhone is symmetric meaning the same big bezel on the bottom is needed at the top so that the screen sits in the exact middle of the phone."

Those are not disadvantages. There have plenty of reports regarding the weird and inconsistent nature of Android's on-screen buttons. Being a "disadvantage" in terms of that chart is pointless because the measure it pointless.

Lets remember how area works. To increase a display measure by 50% — say from 4" to 6" whilst maintaing a 16:9 aspect ratio — you are in fact more than doubling (about 2.25x) the amount of display area, yet the bezels can mostly likely stay the same thickness with this change. The iPhone 5 didn't reduce the bezel area by 6.6% when moving to the larger display size, they simply increased the size of the display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

1) I'll grant you that a bezel with a fixed height will have a diminishing percent of the area as the screen size increases, but what I'm saying is that either the bezel isn't fixed, or the bezel is fixed at a height that is negligible. It would seem strange indeed if a 2cm screen had a 2cm (height) bezel. And it would also seem to follow that a larger screen would have an increasingly large bezel until it ceased to be of any use. (starting at 2cm screen size, as you increase the screen area the bezel area will increase until a larger bezel no longer makes sense.)

If we apply this reasoning, then it follows that the size of the bezel is a function of the screen size, within a restricted domain (neither too small nor too big) and should be proportional (although not linear) as screen size increases.

But if we don't follow this reasoning, and assume that the bezel is independent of the screen size (i.e. a 2mm bezel fits a 2cm screen as well as it fits 2m screen) then the area of the bezel is negligible.

2) They may do without the rounded corners or not. That is a design choice.

1a) Bezels aren't fixed but there but there sizes are partly determined by the type of the display panel used, how much structure needs to be included to support the device and components, and engineering prowess. This last one can be smaller or larger depending on the quality. For example, there have been plenty of UltraBooks that felt flimsy* because they wanted to make it lighter and smaller and there is the Panasonic ToughBooks that are made more durable and therefore are larger and thicker. The better built machines in this example is the thicker one.

1b) Yes, I think bezel sizing for, say, a 3.5" and 4" phone will be pretty much the same with all other component types being equal and yet we have a report implying (or at least being inferred) as something else. We aren't talking about a watch face v 4K HDTV here.

2) I see no world where one side ends by making a hard and sharp 90° turn.


* I seem to recall a video from this year's WWDC of a notebook feel like it was going to crack in your hands. I'll see if I can locate the source.
Edited by SolipsismX - 2/11/14 at 2:50pm

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #33 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

The Korea Herald displayed a graphic of the iPhone 6 concept smartphone...

 



The concept S5 still had buttons.

Riiight. iOS 6 is back in play, from the looks of that mockup, LOL.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 they also want no bezels and no Home Button… so they also can’t use the phone with two hands!

 

How does the absence of either bezel or Home button affect my ability to use two hands? Each hand cups the device the same way you would with one hand.

post #35 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Those are not disadvantages.

I think you missed the point, which is that to Fandroids, everything Apple designs, from thin-and-portable to walled gardens, is a disadvantage. Only Google can save Apple. /s

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post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder6 View Post

One possibility is a software-based home button a la Android, but that would be a terrible idea. No tactility,

 

I do not feel that the feeling of a click is more important than a common and frequent point of failure. Of the six iPhones we've owned, four had a Home button failure.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder6 View Post

no way to press it to wake the device

 

I use the button on top for that already. Why do we need a Home button for that?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder6 View Post

it takes up valuable screen real estate

 

!!! A software button, that can be sized and repositioned at will, is a greater space problem than a 3/4" strip of empty across the entire width of the device along the bottom with the sole purpose of housing a singe button that serves no function while using any app? Seriously?

 

 

post #37 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Those are not disadvantages. There have plenty of reports regarding the weird and inconsistent nature of Android's on-screen buttons. Being a "disadvantage" in terms of that chart is pointless because the measure it pointless.

Lets remember how area works. To increase a display measure by 50% — say from 4" to 6" whilst maintaing a 16:9 aspect ratio — you are in fact more than doubling (about 2.25x) the amount of display area, yet the bezels can mostly likely stay the same thickness with this change. The iPhone 5 didn't reduce the bezel area by 6.6% when moving to the larger display size, they simply increased the size of the display.
1a) Bezels aren't fixed but there but there sizes are partly determined by the type of the display panel used, how much structure needs to be included to support the device and components, and engineering prowess. This last one can be smaller or larger depending on the quality. For example, there have been plenty of UltraBooks that felt flimsy* because they wanted to make it lighter and smaller and there is the Panasonic ToughBooks that are made more durable and therefore are larger and thicker. The better built machines in this example is the thicker one.

1b) Yes, I think bezel sizing for, say, a 3.5" and 4" phone will be pretty much the same with all other component types being equal and yet we have a report implying (or at least being inferred) as something else. We aren't talking about a watch face v 4K HDTV here.

2) I see no world where one side ends by making a hard and sharp 90° turn.


* I seem to recall a video from this year's WWDC of a notebook feel like it was going to crack in your hands. I'll see if I can locate the source.

 

Here you go Soli.  I calculated the size of the bezels of all the devices on that list.  It's not perfectly accurate because I made the calculations assuming all the devices have flat sides.  The first picture shows them ordered by side bezels smallest to largest.  The second is top/bottom bezels smallest to largest.

 

The iPhones have reasonably small side bezels as of the 5/5s, but the top and bottom bezels are relatively enormous thanks to the home button and requirement of symmetry.

 

post #38 of 83

I'm pretty sure that if Apple has plans to do a larger iPhone, they'll know exactly how to do it.

post #39 of 83
There is no reason why the home button can't go the side. We have 5 buttons on an iPhone. Mute. Sound up. Sound down. The top/sleep button - all on the side or top - and a ginormous home button taking up vast spacd on the front. Particularly if you take the symmetry into account. Unfortunately it's now not only a home button but a touch id, which presumably needs to be fingerprint size.
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post #40 of 83
Obviously the home button is here to stay.
I agree with people who say that current bezel free concepts are ugly.
I think that the rumor of a glass that curves on the sides could be a solution to having a less sharp edge, thus making it look a lot better. But that's just speculation.

If Apple does a bigger screen, those huge samsung phones will look even more ridicule than they are.
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