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Apple Rumor Roundup: Bezel-less iPhones & iPads to Launch Next Year

Phone manufacturers are always working to best utilize the space we give them in our pockets, which is partially done by minimizing, and even sometimes eliminating the bezels surrounding device screens. While Apple hasn’t been a leader in bezel minimization so far, it looks like 2017 could be the year of the bezel-less Apple iPhones and iPads.

According to Barclays Research analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O’Malley, and Jerry Zhang, Apple is gearing up to launch new 5″ and 5.8″ iPhones next year, featuring curved bezel-less displays. Without the ugly screen borders that we’ve become used to on the iPhone, the new phones will feature larger screens in relatively the same footprint as the current 4.7″ and 5.5″ offerings from Apple.

The latest rumors jive with rumors previously mentioned by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who speculated that Apple would launch a 5.8″ iPhone with a curved OLED display and glass casing. Current rumors are pointing to the 5.8″ device being the only one to receive an OLED display, while the 5″ model sticks with an LCD panel, similar to what is used in the iPhones now.

In order to eliminate the bezels, rumors are pointing to the removal of the Home button as we know it, with the possibility of it being moved to an in-screen solution.

The iPad is rumored to receive a similar bezel killing update next year, but not all models will be lucky enough to receive the treatment. According to the same analysts who are predicting the new iPhones, three new iPad Pro models will likely be launching in March, with the existing 9.7″ and 12.9″ screen sizes, as well as a new 10.9″ bezel-less iPad Pro.

The new 10.9″ bezel-less iPad Pro will have roughly the same footprint as the existing 9.7″ model, given the extended screen that will cover the entire front of the device. The Home button is also rumored to disappear on the bezel-free iPad, with an in-screen solution likely be adopted. Multiple rumors have pointed to an iPad Pro in the 10″ range launching in 2017, so it’s likely that the new iPad will be making an appearance at some time next year, as early as March.

The 9.7″ iPad will become a low cost model, similar to the 7.9″ iPad mini, which is not rumored to receive any updates along with the larger family members, but will continue to be produced and sold as an entry level iPad.

The 12.9″ iPad Pro is expected to catch up to the 9.7″ model, with the addition of the True Tone display and 12-megapixel camera with True Tone flash.

More significant updates to the iPad family are expected in 2018, which could include a switch to OLED displays.

And a bonus iPhone rumor for this week…Japanese website Mac Otakara has suggested that Apple may be preparing a “Jet white” iPhone 7 to add to the existing 6 color lineup, even though details of when it may be added are unclear, and it’s unlikely that this rumor will pan out, but you never know with Apple.

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