As per a recent report from The Elec, Apple has made a request to Samsung Display and LG Display to develop an OLED panel without any bezels on its sides.
This cutting-edge display is intended for future iPhones, but its creation is anticipated to be a time-consuming process, suggesting that the sleek, futuristic iPhone may not hit the market for several years.
Some devices on the market, like the Galaxy Z Fold 4, already incorporate an under-display camera (UDC).
Nevertheless, the image quality from UDCs falls short compared to traditional selfie cameras. This drawback is somewhat mitigated in foldable phones due to the presence of a conventional camera on the cover display.
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However, for the iPhone, boasting a truly bezel-less screen, the under-display camera must deliver impeccable image quality since it will serve as the sole selfie camera on the phone. As a result, perfecting the UDC technology is bound to be a lengthy endeavor.
The display industry is still some distance away from developing a screen with infrared-based face-scanning components positioned beneath it, which is a crucial requirement for the iPhone’s Face ID feature.
But this is not the sole challenge faced in crafting a bezel-free screen. Reportedly, Samsung and LG must also find a way to reduce the thickness of thin-film encapsulation (TFE) to eliminate bezels on the sides—an exceedingly difficult task.
TFE is manufactured by stacking layers of inorganic film, which provides protection against moisture and oxygen. Organic film is used to fill gaps in the inorganic layers, increasing the overall flexibility of the display.
However, reducing the thickness of the inorganic film would compromise moisture and oxygen protection, and thinning the organic film would hinder gap-filling in the inorganic layers.
Consequently, Apple has called for both films to be made thinner, posing a significant challenge for the display manufacturers.
Given the myriad of obstacles, achieving a truly bezel-less display with embedded camera and Face ID components is bound to be a lengthy process. It is plausible that we may not witness such a display until the release of the iPhone 17.
Meanwhile, Apple is diligently working to minimize bezels on iPhones through a variety of techniques. For instance, the iPhone 14 Pro series saw reduced bezels through the introduction of Dynamic Island, and the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro series is rumored to feature even thinner bezels all around.