A new year, another set of flagship handsets from the twin titans of smartphones, Apple and Samsung -- but will this finally be the year such devices can shake off the bezel in an effort to slim down even further?
Korean mobile giant Samsung Electronics appears likely to launch the initial offensive later this month when the manufacturer is expected to announce the Galaxy S5, which unnamed industry sources claim will be the model to finally ditch a hardware-based home button.
Samsung is also rumored to be following Apple into the fingerprint scanner market, which will reportedly be offered on the bottom left and right sides of the bezel-free screen.
Begone, home button
Apple is also said to be testing a prototype of this year's iPhone 6 with a larger, bezel-free display that could also move the Touch ID fingerprint scanner found on the iPhone 5S onto the actual display itself.
The eventual goal of both companies appears to be an edge-to-edge screen offering button-free fingerprint scanning from anywhere on the display, but "technological hurdles" remain that could delay such a feature until the second half of the year.
Now that Apple has staked out the early fall season for its smartphone launches, that could give the iPhone maker an edge over Samsung, who is expected to begin selling the allegedly slimmer Galaxy S5 much earlier in the year.
Samsung is also reportedly hard at work on touch panels that would allow its Galaxy devices to be used even while wearing gloves, part of a bezel-free initiative launched in 2012 under the code names "Project B" and "Galaxy B."
- It may have a bezel, but our Samsung Galaxy S4 review shows it's still a fine handset!