Connoisseurs have been predicting for a number of years that Apple would remove the notch from the iPhone display, but the consensus is that this year will finally be the year – and we now have a better idea of how that might work on the iPhone 14 Per.
A leaked schematic posted on a Chinese social media site Weibo (above 9to5Mac) seems to show the two cutouts replacing the notch. Known tipster Jon Proser says he believes the leak is accurate in terms of Apple’s plans as well.
It seems Apple isn’t ready to put a selfie camera under the iPhone’s display, which means cutouts are still needed if the notch is to go away. Other components, such as the infrared sensor for Face ID, are also housed here.
The combination of a circular cutout and a pill-shaped cutout we can see in this schematic confirms previous rumors from last month – and we haven’t seen any other phone maker take this particular design route yet.
While some Android device makers (like Huawei) use a pill cutout and other Android device makers (like Samsung) use a punch cutout, we haven’t yet seen the two combined in the way Apple is apparently planning.
The leaked schematic doesn’t really tell us much else, although these snippets look a bit larger than we expected. For now, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected to get this new design, while the cheaper iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will stick with the traditional notch.
Analysis: the beginning of the end of the notch era
Before Apple decided to add a notch to the iPhone X, phone makers typically embedded the selfie camera, speaker, and other components into the handset’s top bezel. The iPhone X was launched back in 2017, and it seems five years later the notch will be removed from at least some iPhones by Apple.
The thinking seems to be the same today as it was then: Apple wants to make sure iOS and the apps running on it have as much screen real estate as possible. This extra space can be used for notification badges, for example.
This time around, however, Apple is following the pack rather than leading it: Manufacturers were quick to adopt the display notch once Apple started using it, but most have now moved to smaller punch holes and pills to accommodate the necessary components.
Eventually, screen and camera technology seems to be evolving to the point where the camera and other sensors can be embedded under the display without any cut-outs (see the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 for example). However, Apple will want this technology to be perfect before rolling it out on the iPhone.
- Production of the iPhone 14 has reportedly already started
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