Apple is reportedly asking its OLED suppliers Samsung Display and LG Display to develop OLED panels without bezels. The move is two-pronged — initially, Apple wants to reduce the bezels on this year’s iPhone 15 Pro models — and then, a few years down the road, Apple looks to adopt a full display. That means no camera cutout and as thin a bezel as possible.
That word possible is key. Apple’s bezel-less plans face some critical hurdles at this point. One is the under-panel camera (UPC) – currently an outer film layer thin enough to accommodate an under-display camera. Then there’s thin-film encapsulation (TFE), which protects the OLED from moisture and oxygen. It is made by stacking an inorganic film and an organic film – the inorganic film blocks moisture and oxygen, and the organic film blocks the gaps in the inorganic film.
A third problem is that Apple is keen to keep the iPhone’s flat display, which makes it difficult to bend the screen circuits in the display’s bottom bezel. Apple reportedly doesn’t want a curved display because of the magnifying glass effect at the edges and because curved screens are easy to break.
All of these are challenges facing Apple’s display suppliers, meaning a true bezel-less iPhone is still years away.