iPhone 16 display could get a big upgrade — but there's a problem

iPhone 15 Pro shown in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 16 is getting thinner bezels around its display according to reporting from The Elec (citing industry sources). This is thanks to a new Border Reduction Structure (BRS) process.

As we learned in a previous report, BRS packs the circuitry more tightly together and reroutes the wiring to allow a display's bottom bezel, normally the thickest part of the border on any phone, to be thinned out. With current iPhones using symmetrical bezels, a thinner bottom bezel should mean the other three sides of the display shrink accordingly.

The only problem is that this makes the screens harder to manufacture, with both LG Display and Samsung Display struggling to produce panels with a high enough yield (the percentage of usable parts) to satisfy Apple. Apple also gets lots of its displays from a third company, BOE, but it tends to focus on the cheaper iPhone models each year since it's behind the others in OLED quality.

LG Display is working on these new OLED panels with the help of display driver integrated circuits (or ICs) supplied by two different companies, Novatech and LX Semicon, instead of just LX like in previous years. This seems to be an effort to reduce its costs while it takes on the task of building a greater proportion of this year's iPhone displays, according to The Elec.

Only some models will get smaller bezels 

Unofficial renders of the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max from the front and back

The iPhone 15 Pro's display. (Image credit: MacRumors)

Currently, it's not clear which models are in line to get the BRS treatment right now. Hopefully it'll be all four expected iPhone 16 models, but chances are it could apply only to the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, since they're the most expensive and tend to be the models that Apple debuts its latest technology on.

That wouldn't be the only display change we see on the Pro models, if the rumors are true. We've seen claims previously that said these two new iPhone Pros would be getting larger, with the Pro model measuring 6.3 inches (up from the iPhone 15 Pro's 6.1 inches) and the Pro Max 6.9 inches (up from the iPhone 15 Pro Max's 6.7 inches).

Mark your calendar for early to mid-September if you're curious about these new iPhones, as more likely than not, that'll be when Apple shows them off officially for the first time. But while you're waiting, you can also check out what else the rumor mill's been saying in our iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max hubs.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.