Apple switched to a retro design with flat edges for the iPhone 12 range, and this trend continues to this day with the iPhone 14 series. All iPhone 12 models, iPhone 13, and the iPhone 14 have the same flat edges covering the phones. But if a new rumor is to be believed, things could change with the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.
According to a passing leaker ShrimpApplePro, the iPhone 15 Pro range could have thinner bezels and curved edges. The two design features could combine to give the phones an “Apple Watch-like look”. And you know what? I completely agree.
Apple moved to flat edges with the iPhone 12, which was a breath of fresh air after having curved edges on iPhones for years. It was beautiful to look at, but I never liked it. The flat edges look great, but they’re also not particularly comfortable to hold.
And this problem gets worse once you use the Pro Max variants of the iPhone, as the edges start to dig into your little finger. I’m a dedicated iPhone Pro Max user due to my battery anxiety, but it comes at a cost. I hold my phone so that my little finger rests on the bottom of the device, and the bottom edge hurts my finger if I use the phone for long periods of time at a stretch. And that’s been the case with almost every recent flagship smartphone, thanks to Apple leading the way in 2020.
Unfortunately, what Apple does, the smartphone industry follows. It started with the notch, and it continued with the flat edge design. As a result, almost every smartphone launched in 2022 was a nightmare to use, personally.
That’s why I’m glad for the slightest possibility that the iPhone 15 Pro Max, aka iPhone 15 Ultra, has curved edges. It also means Android smartphone companies will likely follow suit and end attempts at flat-edge telephony. Hopefully we’ll see more curved smartphones in 2024.
In 2014, Apple changed to the curved edges of the iPhone 6 versus the square design of the iPhone 5s. Back then, flat edges weren’t an issue in use because phones were small and our holding habits were different. But it’s 2023, and if the latest rumor is to be believed, Apple is essentially going back to 2014.
Samsung also introduced its Galaxy Note Edge, which had a “waterfall” style screen on the right edge, in 2014. It was followed by the Galaxy S6 Edge with curved edges on both sides – something that was appreciated by the Asian market. According to ShrimpApplePro, Apple will introduce curved edges with thinner bezels, but it will still have a flat screen. This is good news for some, but it’s kind of a disappointment for me as someone who loves curved screens.
In a way, going back to the old “curved” design is also a case of Apple admitting it made the wrong choice by going with flat edges. And people have been talking about it on social media, saying flat edges don’t make big devices any good for usability compared to phones with curved edges.
The curved edges also make it easier to reach the top left corner of the device with one hand (if you’re right-handed) and vice versa. And given that iOS still has apps with design elements on this part of the screen, it’s a welcome design change, even if it means stepping back in time nine years.
In 2023, the iPhone 15, which starts the line, will be the star of the show. It is said to borrow the Dynamic Island from the iPhone 14 Pro series, which will narrow the gap between the base and Pro models. But it’s unclear if the 120Hz refresh rate will carry over to the iPhone 15. If not, the Dynamic Island implementation will be interesting to see, as it won’t be as smooth as on the iPhone 14 Pro series.
The iPhone 15 series is supposed to have the same display size as the iPhone 14 lineup. It will also feature curved edges. It looks like the main differentiator between the vanilla models and the Pro iPhones will be the camerasespecially until the Under-Display Face ID appears on the iPhone 16 Pro series.
Combine all of these qualities with a comfortable, more practical design, and we’re looking at a potentially killer year for the iPhone. It’s still too early to get also hopeful, but things seem to be going in the right direction.