iPhone 8 may have physical slit within OLED display for embedded earpiece

Purported technical measurements for iPhone 8 that surfaced Monday on iFanr, a site without an established track record, would have us believe that Apple will ship a handset come this fall with a physical slit at the top of its OLED screen for an embedded earpiece and possibly other integrated components, like a 3D camera and sensors.

Not only should the top speaker of iPhone 8 be cut through the glass cover, but the OLED panel itself. Many bloggers and outlets that reported on the story have noted that this may not even be possible.

As you can see for yourself, the technical illustration suggests that the Cupertino company might hide all of the components that are currently located on the handset’s top and bottom chin right underneath the display.

That, in turn, could enable Apple’s engineers to create a full-front or a nearly full-front display for iPhone 8. Based on these drawings, other components could be hidden right underneath the OLED screen, including:

  • Home button
  • Touch ID
  • Next-generation FaceTime 3D camera
  • Ambient light sensors
  • Proximity sensor
  • Laser rangefinder
  • Infrared transmitter and receiver
  • Top speaker

Other things we can glean from the diagram:

  • Bezels on all four sides measure just 4 millimeters
  • 2.5D curved glass at the edges
  • The OLED screen stretches 5.768 inches diagonally
  • Symmetric antenna lines in each corner
  • No rear Touch ID (contrary to last week’s report)
  • Vertically aligned dual-camera system out the back
  • True Tone flash sits between the two rear cameras
  • Chassis is 137.54 mm tall and 67.54 mm wide

Curiously, iPhone 8’s thickness is not shown. Bear in mind that purported dimensions shown on these illustrations don’t match prior schematics. While the physical slit within the OLED screen might permit the integrated earpiece to function properly, it’s unclear if putting a camera and other components behind the display is technically possible.

Now, Apple’s filed a number of patents over the past few years and some of them do suggest that the company has been looking into integrating the front sensors and the Touch ID fingerprint reader behind the display assembly. A good example is a particularly exciting patent for “Electronic devices having displays with openings,” which simply sounds too good to be true.

In it, Apple proposes poking a series of microscopic thru-holes between the individual pixels of an OLED panel to let the underlying sensors gather image and light data, radio waves and acoustic signals.

Apple’s patent promises sub-screen speakers, cameras, sensors and more.

Needless to say, the Cupertino company patents a lot of technologies but only a fraction of its inventions ever make it into actual products. That said, I simply cannot get my head around the idea of an iPhone with a hole in the display. I mean, are you seriously trying to tell me that having missing pixels at the top is a good user experience?

I’m not even sure how that might work in real life.

Even Galaxy S8’s Infinity Display doesn’t cover the entire front face of the device. If Samsung could integrate the earpiece along with the camera and the sensors underneath the display, I’m pretty sure they would have done just that. A report this morning stated Apple has been struggling to integrate an optical fingerprint reader into iPhone 8’s display so there’s that.

Could Apple out-design Samsung with iPhone 8, do you think?

Source: iFanr