CAD drawings: smaller iPhone 12 notch design with the earpiece moved to the bezel

We recently heard that the upcoming iPhone 12 may be the first to start shrinking the notorious notch, and now we have CAD drawings strongly suggesting that the rumor might be true.

As evidenced by a pair of schematics drawings shared by Apple leaker Jon Prosser on Sunday, Apple has most likely finalized a smaller notch for the next iPhone. The top portion of one technical CAD drawing clearly depicts a smaller notch than on today’s iPhones.

OP-ED: How Apple could make the notch less notchy

The Face ID module depicted on these CAD illustrations indicates an updated layout for the next iPhone’s TrueDepth sensor with the earpiece (which contains the mic and the speaker) now moved to the thin bezel, directly above stacked ambient light and proximity sensors, to free up space in the notch. On current Face ID devices, the earpiece occupies the space between the dot projector and the FaceTime camera to the right and the flood illuminator and the infrared camera to the left.

Other elements are moved inward or toward center.

The smaller notch rumor was started by reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who in July 2019 predicted that Apple’s smartphone models releasing in 2020 could feature slimmer notches. According to the analyst, a flagship 2020 iPhone may not have a notch at all — according to another rumor, Apple may have prototyped a 2020 iPhone without a notch by moving all TrueDepth module parts into the upper bezel.

Assuming the above image is from a trusted source and hans’t been tampered with, the next iPhone may indeed have a notch that’s approximately half as wide as the current version.

The notch, of course, debuted with the iPhone X in 2017 which was the first iPhone to adopt a nearly fullscreen design. Its size has remained unchanged ever since.