It’s the summer of 2024. Almost seven years have passed since the iPhone X introduced the first smartphone with uniformly thin bezels (except for the notch). It was a design that everyone else copied. All smartphones have incredibly thin bezels these days, and they all feature essentially the same design: a hole-punch display takes up almost all of a phone’s front panel. Even still, vendors are still competing to offer the smallest bezels.

The iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max will feature even thinner bezels than last year’s models. That’s after the current iPhone 15 Pro models already have even smaller bezels than previous iPhones. This will only pressure Android vendors to go after Apple and further reduce the bezels of future devices.

The reaction to the iPhone 16 Pro Max’s purported bezels from a diehard Galaxy fan who happens to be a prominent Samsung leaker is the best proof of that. Some people will want those bezels to shrink down until they eventually disappear. But there is one explanation why Apple’s push is important this year.

Ice Universe is the leaker in question. He usually focuses on Samsung Galaxy phones, but he has been known to talk about various iPhone models as well.

The Samsung insider posted a short tweet on Monday, saying he learned from a friend that the iPhone 16 Pro phones will have thinner bezels than the Galaxy S24 handsets. That means the iPhone 16 Pro models will feature the world’s narrowest bezels.

That’s really not surprising. We’ve been talking about the thin iPhone 16 Pro bezels for months. Most recently, we learned that Samsung and LG can finally mass-produce the OLED panels Apple needs for the iPhone 16 Pro models. The iPhone 16 Pro Max screens would get similar approvals soon. Previously, reports from Korea said the new Border Reduction Structure tech posed serious manufacturing problems.

Ice Universe followed up with renders that show the purported iPhone 16 Pro Max bezels.

He also put up a render of the iPhone 16 Pro Max next to the iPhone 15 Pro Max to highlight the bezel upgrade. It’s clear that the bezels are smaller, but the image might be misleading because the two devices aren’t the same size. That’s a point I’ll return to below.

Finally, the leaker posted a schematic that offers an actual measurement for the iPhone 16 Pro Max bezel. If it’s accurate, the bezel measures just 1.153 mm.

So why is Apple doing it? The answer is simple: the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max are going to be slightly larger than previous Pros. We’re getting 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch screens instead of the previous 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays.

Apple needs extra space inside the phone to place a tetraprism camera in the iPhone 16 Pro without impacting battery life. That’s a decision that affects both Pro models. If the iPhone 16 Pro becomes slightly taller and wider than all Pro models that preceded it, the iPhone 16 Pro Max has to become larger.

But Apple doesn’t want to make the new iPhone Pros too large compared to their predecessors. Shrinking the bezels allows Apple to increase the screen size diagonally and make it seem like a bigger upgrade than it is. A 6.3-inch display upgrade sounds better than a 6.2-inch screen. The same logic applies to the iPhone 16 Pro Max, of course.

That’s how we end up with this new battle in the bezel war. The iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max will indeed feature smaller bezels than ever. Samsung will inevitably have to shrink the bezels of the Galaxy S25 next year.

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