Next year’s iPhone 14 models could retain rather than get rid of the notch entirely, despite the upcoming handsets predicted to adopt a hole-punch design like some Androids.
- iPhone 14 could keep the notch despite having a hole-punch screen
- A reworked notch on the iPhone 14 models should be smaller, however
- Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously called for a hole-punch design for iPhone 14
Hole-punch design won’t eliminate iPhone 14’s notch completely
MacRumors passes along a deleted post from Chinese social network Weibo:
Even if the iPhone 14 introduces a hole-punch design, it will be hard for Apple to abandon the notch altogether, according to a now-deleted post on Weibo from @PandaIsBald. The account, which accurately predicted that the ninth-generation iPad would be announced at the September Apple event, claimed that it is “unlikely” that Apple will replace the notch entirely with a hole-punch cutout, and instead, the iPhone 14 may continue to feature a notch but with a smaller footprint.
The report contradicts a recent research note from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who predicted that some of the iPhone 14 models would lose the notch by adopting a hole-punch design. Kuo did not say how Apple would pack all the TrueDepth camera components required for FaceID to work in such a small footprint. Read: 3 ways to find your carrier on iPhone
Shrinking the notch: Easier said than done
The TrueDepth camera system is made up of several components:
- Dot projector
- Flood illuminator
- Infrared camera
- Infrared receiver
It also houses the iPhone’s earpiece, proximity sensor and your regular FaceTime camera for taking selfies. So that’s a lot of technology to squeeze into such a small footprint.
With a punch-hole design, Apple could theoretically move the FaceTime camera inside a tiny circular cutout near the top of the screen. iPhone 13 is the first iPhone model after iPhone X with a slightly narrower notch. Apple was able to engineer a circa 20 percent smaller notch on the iPhone 13 models by moving the earpiece to the top of the bezel and using smaller parts.
But shrinking the notch components to fit a punch-hole design is easier said than done.
Our take: The iPhone 14 notch isn’t going away
Bottom line: Don’t expect the iPhone 14 models to replace the notch entirely with a punch-hole screen. Instead, we may get an iPhone 14 with no under-screen Touch ID and featuring a narrower notch. The narrower notch should house a smaller TrueDepth camera system, with only the FaceTime camera relocated behind that punch-hole cutout.
It is an unfortunate compromise, of course, but one we might need to put up with before Apple comes up with a better solution for getting rid of the notch completely.