Apple is asking iPhone suppliers for screens without any bezel

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2023

A future iPhone could have an extremely expansive display, with Apple asking its suppliers to develop a version that loses the need for a front bezel at all.




When Apple introduced the edge-to-edge display in its iPhone X, the company considerably increased the amount of the front of the iPhone dedicated to the display. If Apple's intentions for a future iteration come true, there could be even less space wasted by non-display elements.

In a Monday report from TheElec, Apple has made a request to screen suppliers Samsung Display and LG Display to develop a version of an OLED display that eliminates front bezels completely.

As part of the same request, Apple also wants improvements to the Thin Film Encapsulation (TFE) and under-panel camera (UPC) technologies. It also wants a more secure antenna space on top.

Both Samsung and LG are said to be working on the bezel-less OLEDs, as per Apple's request.

While Samsung has progressed with a curved edge display in its smartphones, a technique other vendors have also used, Apple apparently rejected the technology. This was seemingly due to an optical distortion of the technique and an increased vulnerability to external shocks.

Creating a flat bezel-less display has its challenges, such as making the outer film encapsulation thinner and some limitations of UPC tech, including making components like the camera indistinguishable from the rest of the display.

Making the TFE thinner is a challenge since it consists of a tacking of inorganic and organic films, with the first blocking moisture and oxygen and the second increasing its flexibility. Thinning the inorganic film makes it harder to block moisture while doing the same to the organic film makes it tougher to block fine gaps in the inorganic film.

A thinner TFE process also makes it harder to add touch electrodes required for such displays to operate.

It is unclear when Apple will incorporate such displays into its product lineup, but it will probably take a few cycles to properly surface.

TheElec does have a good record when it comes to supply chain rumors, and less so for feature claims. It's framed the rumor as stemming from the supply chain, making it more believable than not.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    mayflymayfly Posts: 385member
    There is a phrase in this article that understates what I'd think is a much bigger issue:
    "increased vulnerability to external shocks"

    With no metal bezel surrounding a glass lens, seems like it would be way more likely to break due to accidents that current phones survive intact. They're going to have to explore a radically different glass technology to prevent that. Or they could just use current glass tech, and make more money on repairs, I suppose.
    abcapplewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    mayfly said:
    There is a phrase in this article that understates what I'd think is a much bigger issue:
    "increased vulnerability to external shocks"

    With no metal bezel surrounding a glass lens, seems like it would be way more likely to break due to accidents that current phones survive intact. They're going to have to explore a radically different glass technology to prevent that. Or they could just use current glass tech, and make more money on repairs, I suppose.
    Hint... the "lens" is not made of glass.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 6
    jellybellyjellybelly Posts: 111member
    mayfly said:
    There is a phrase in this article that understates what I'd think is a much bigger issue:
    "increased vulnerability to external shocks"

    With no metal bezel surrounding a glass lens, seems like it would be way more likely to break due to accidents that current phones survive intact. They're going to have to explore a radically different glass technology to prevent that. Or they could just use current glass tech, and make more money on repairs, I suppose.
    Hint... the "lens" is not made of glass.
    I’ve heard the glass covering the display on the iPhone referred to as ‘lens’ in the past.  It might be ‘engineer-speak’ or a British term.  In the US, we think a lens is on the camera or in glasses, a microscope or telescope. A lens is glass ( or clear plastic) we look through that transmits light and bends the light to form an image that is enlarged, reduced or otherwise distorted. Yet we have sunglasses the have no distortion, just a filtering of light. So, yes, I can see the display glass referred to as a lens. 

    Where we in the US refer to a ‘hood’ on the front of a car, the Brits say ‘bonnet’. What we call a ‘windshield’ is referred to as a ‘windscreen’ by Brits.  I can see calling the face of the iPhone a lens that we look through to see the image displayed on or under film layers. 
    Gorilla glass that Apple uses has had many iterations over the years.  It approaches the hardness and scratch resistance of some metals.  Tougher than nails. 
    I’d think that’s the protection that does the job, unless the display film comes all the way to the edge of the glass—and can be harmed by just the edge being hit. 

    My concern could be reliable touch rejection from gripping the iPhone with fingers encroaching on the edges of the display. I’d take a guess that Apple thought of that a long time ago and it won’t be a problem. I guess I’m not really concerned about that after all.
    designrwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 6
    thttht Posts: 5,444member
    mayfly said:
    There is a phrase in this article that understates what I'd think is a much bigger issue:
    "increased vulnerability to external shocks"

    With no metal bezel surrounding a glass lens, seems like it would be way more likely to break due to accidents that current phones survive intact. They're going to have to explore a radically different glass technology to prevent that. Or they could just use current glass tech, and make more money on repairs, I suppose.
    The OLED display is said to no bezels. It doesn't mean the phone won't have any bezels.

    The bezels have a 100% winning average every time we have read this or that devices won't have any bezels. Every time the word is used, the device ends up having bezels. This article is just saying the OLED display component won't have any bezels. There's going be a "ceramic shield" cover laminated on top of it, possibly some light filter or touchscreen layer component, and then it needs mounting clips on the side, probably.
    williamlondonmayflywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    mayfly said:
    There is a phrase in this article that understates what I'd think is a much bigger issue:
    "increased vulnerability to external shocks"

    With no metal bezel surrounding a glass lens, seems like it would be way more likely to break due to accidents that current phones survive intact. They're going to have to explore a radically different glass technology to prevent that. Or they could just use current glass tech, and make more money on repairs, I suppose.
    Hint... the "lens" is not made of glass.
    I’ve heard the glass covering the display on the iPhone referred to as ‘lens’ in the past.  It might be ‘engineer-speak’ or a British term.  In the US, we think a lens is on the camera or in glasses, a microscope or telescope. A lens is glass ( or clear plastic) we look through that transmits light and bends the light to form an image that is enlarged, reduced or otherwise distorted. Yet we have sunglasses the have no distortion, just a filtering of light. So, yes, I can see the display glass referred to as a lens. 

    Where we in the US refer to a ‘hood’ on the front of a car, the Brits say ‘bonnet’. What we call a ‘windshield’ is referred to as a ‘windscreen’ by Brits.  I can see calling the face of the iPhone a lens that we look through to see the image displayed on or under film layers. 
    Gorilla glass that Apple uses has had many iterations over the years.  It approaches the hardness and scratch resistance of some metals.  Tougher than nails. 
    I’d think that’s the protection that does the job, unless the display film comes all the way to the edge of the glass—and can be harmed by just the edge being hit. 

    My concern could be reliable touch rejection from gripping the iPhone with fingers encroaching on the edges of the display. I’d take a guess that Apple thought of that a long time ago and it won’t be a problem. I guess I’m not really concerned about that after all.
    I've been working with Brits daily for 15-years and I have never heard it referred to as a lens.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,317member
    tht said:
    mayfly said:
    There is a phrase in this article that understates what I'd think is a much bigger issue:
    "increased vulnerability to external shocks"

    With no metal bezel surrounding a glass lens, seems like it would be way more likely to break due to accidents that current phones survive intact. They're going to have to explore a radically different glass technology to prevent that. Or they could just use current glass tech, and make more money on repairs, I suppose.
    The OLED display is said to no bezels. It doesn't mean the phone won't have any bezels.

    The bezels have a 100% winning average every time we have read this or that devices won't have any bezels. Every time the word is used, the device ends up having bezels. This article is just saying the OLED display component won't have any bezels. There's going be a "ceramic shield" cover laminated on top of it, possibly some light filter or touchscreen layer component, and then it needs mounting clips on the side, probably.
    Still if the screen panel has no bezels Apple can have just enough bezel to suit the device. 
    Zero Watch, iPad Pro, Some iPhone, larger still iPad Not Pro, largest Mac
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