Display bezel wars might become a thing again if the latest rumors about the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro Max are true. Apple's next flagship might have a thin 1.55mm display bezel (via @UniverseIce), which would represent a significant reduction from the current iPhone 14's 2.17mm bezel. As a result, Samsung may lose to Apple in this department, and the company may want to reengage in a battle for the thinnest bezels, even though it somewhat ignored this design aspect in recent years.
And that's because Samsung is no longer interested in emulating rivals from China but is trying to become more like Apple. Instead of engaging in a race to the bottom and cut costs, in December 2022, reports said Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Han Jong-hee ordered the Device Experience division to “think about ways to strengthen the competitiveness of smartphones without getting caught up in cost reduction.”
The Vice Chairman supposedly added that “cost reduction is something that even latecomers like Chinese companies can do without difficulty.” In other words, Samsung shouldn't obsess with such strategies, and for 2023, the company shifted to competing with its true rival, Apple, more head-on. The tech giant wants to aim for the top spot, not the bottom.
If Apple starts caring about display bezels, Samsung might, too
Apple never really cared about making display bezels super thin, while Samsung and Chinese brands have. Meanwhile, Samsung started emulating Apple while some Chinese phone brands continued making display bezels thinner, often even misinterpreting just how thin they are in their photoshopped renders.
Google, too, stopped caring about display bezel sizes altogether, and we've seen this clear as day at 2023 I/O, where the company unveiled the Pixel 7a and Pixel Fold, both of which have chunky bezels.
It's quite obvious that Samsung, and even Google, no longer care to compete with Chinese phone brands on this design front. And as far as Apple, Samsung's flagships already have thinner bezels than the iPhone 14. But the company might start caring about shedding fat off its display bezels once again, if the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro Max hits the market and becomes the phone with the world's thinnest display bezel — especially if Apple makes a big deal about it at its launch event.
If the iPhone 15 Pro Max sets a new design standard, Samsung might have to follow, and future Galaxy S flagships could have thinner bezels than ever, for better or worse. Some will love this design change, while others will argue that very thin bezels can hurt usability and make navigation gestures more uncomfortable.