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

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2014
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.

iPhone Plus
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 104
    There must be a template in Huddler for "yet another iPhone 6 rumor" with Marco Arment's mockup already pre-loaded. :)
  • Reply 2 of 104
    irelandireland Posts: 17,785member

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

  • Reply 3 of 104

    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.

  • Reply 4 of 104
    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. image

     

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

  • Reply 5 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 104
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,706member

    Etched from a single piece of sapphire enhanced glass.

  • Reply 7 of 104
    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.

  • Reply 8 of 104
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

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

  • Reply 9 of 104
    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.

  • Reply 10 of 104
    irelandireland Posts: 17,785member
    sog35 wrote: »
    bezel free will require no home button and saffire screen for touch id to work

    Side bezels.
  • Reply 11 of 104
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,227member
    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:

  • Reply 12 of 104

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 104
    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?

  • Reply 15 of 104
    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.

  • Reply 16 of 104
    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!

  • Reply 17 of 104
    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?

  • Reply 18 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 104
    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.

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