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iPhone 17 Plus might get a smaller screen and people are whining, but I like the idea

Published Apr 18th, 2024 3:04PM EDT
iPhone 15 Plus Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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I’m a longtime iPhone owner currently on the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, and I plan to upgrade to an iPhone 16 this fall. For the first time, I’m considering not going Pro. Considering my current needs, the regular model should suit me just fine, and I can save plenty of money by getting one. But I will say that exclusive AI features coming to the iPhone 16 Pros might make me reconsider.

I’m also inclined to try the Plus size, which would also be a first for me. I usually avoid Apple’s 6.7-inch models, but I have two good reasons to upgrade this year. The 6.1-inch screen feels increasingly smaller, and the battery on Plus phones has been excellent.

With that in mind, rumors that the iPhone 17 Plus will feature a smaller screen than the iPhone 15 Plus — and, therefore, the 16 Plus — don’t trouble me at all. If anything, I think it would be a smart move from Apple.

It’s not surprising to see iPhone 17 rumors drop this time of year, even though the iPhone 16 series isn’t even out yet. It’s something that happens often with the iPhone, especially when it comes to display innovations Apple might be working on. Apple has to plan things very far in advance, after all.

Also, the source is a trusted insider who has provided accurate details about other Apple decisions regarding the iPhone display. It’s display industry analyst Ross Young, who posted on Twitter about the iPhone 17 Plus screen changes.

If his information is accurate, the iPhone 17 Plus will have a display smaller than 6.7 inches. How much smaller? He didn’t share an actual measurement. Also, if the Plus model shrinks, I’d expect the regular iPhone 17 to be slightly smaller than the 6.1-inch standard that Apple has used for years. That way, Apple will be able to keep the proportions in check.

As I explained, I want a larger display but don’t want a larger phone. The iPhone 17 Plus could be the exact smartphone I want, especially if Apple uses the same bezel tech on next year’s non-Pro models as this year’s iPhone 16 Pro variants.

As a reminder, the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max will feature the thinnest bezels ever seen on an iPhone. Reports say that’s currently a problem for display manufacturers, which are struggling to meet Apple’s demands.

While I don’t care about bezel size in 2024, the tech Apple is adopting will help it increase the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max displays to 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch without significantly increasing the sizes of the two iPhones.

This is a great way to get a larger display in a more compact body. On that note, the 6.3-inch iPhone 16 Pro might also meet my display needs.

iPhone 15 Plus Main
The iPhone 15 Plus is a large phone. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Back to the iPhone 17 Plus, using thinner bezels could help Apple reduce the phone’s overall size. The display could take only a minimal hit.

While I want a larger display in an iPhone, I don’t appreciate dealing with a heavier phone and one that’s more difficult to pocket. The Plus and Pro Max models are quite large and could be annoying to carry around. That might be one more reason Apple would want to reduce the size of the iPhone 17 Plus. It would make it more pocketable.

I also can’t ignore the obvious elephant in the room. The iPhone 15 Plus is just amazing when it comes to battery life. It’s even better than the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro Max. This year, rumors say the iPhone 16 Plus will feature a smaller battery size than expected. That could turn the iPhone 16 Pro Max into the battery king Apple needs.

A smaller iPhone 17 Plus would further help Apple differentiate its non-Pro phones from the Pro models next year. The size decrease would also impact the battery size and the battery life. But even then, the Plus would probably last for two days. By 2025, we’ll get even more efficient chips and other components.

Upgrading to an iPhone 16 model this year means I’ll probably skip the iPhone 17 series next year, Plus model included. Therefore, these size changes won’t impact me immediately. But I can see why fans of the Plus series who will upgrade next year might not like these early rumors.

I still think it’s not a reason to panic, especially since we don’t have any specifics. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Young provide more context in the coming months as he learns more details about Apple’s display needs for next-gen iPhones.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.