Apple may replace the notch by pill-and-hole layout across all iPhone 15 models

An analyst predicts Apple will drop the display notch from its 2023 lineup, adopting a pill-and-hole design across all iPhone 15 models instead.

Apple's marketing image illustrating a smaller notch on the iPhone 13 Pro
Image credit: Apple
  • A display analyst thinks that all models of the tentatively named iPhone 15 will replace the current notched design with a pill-and-hole layout.
  • Earlier rumors have said that Apple will first try out this design with some but not all iPhone 14 models this year
  • Apple is also working on a truly fullscreen iPhone, but that one’s contingent on its ability to solve technical challenges associated with under-panel cameras.

No iPhone 15 models expected to have notches

That’s according to reputable display consultant Ross Young on Twitter.

Assuming the analyst is right, that would mean that no new iPhones coming in 2023 will have any notches. As you know, Apple launched the current notched design with the introduction of the iPhone X back in 2017. As for this year’s iPhone 14 Pros, Ross suspects those handsets might sport a tad larger display than the iPhone 13 Pros to accommodate a punch-hole camera and a pill-and-hole design for Face ID.

Apple should begin eliminating the display notch from its Pro-branded iPhone 14 models this year, which are expected to feature a pill-and-hole layout. The design would use a tiny circular cutout within the display to house a selfie camera while the Face ID components would occupy a pill-shaped cutout in the display’s top.

But wait, wasn’t Apple supposed to utilize under-panel cameras to create fullscreen phones with no cutouts in OLED displays? Yes, but that solution is highly dependent on Apple being able to develop an under-panel camera that wouldn’t be expensive or produce images of poor quality. Read: How to clone an iPhone

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Young believes that Apple’s end goal is to move Face ID sensors and the front camera completely under the display. If development is successful, he expects this transition to begin with under-screen Face ID on iPhone 16 Pro models in 2024, followed by under-screen Face ID and an under-screen front camera on iPhone 18 Pro models in 2026.

The information matches up with a prediction by Ming-Chi Kuo, the most reliable Apple analyst, who recently said that the real fullscreen iPhone with under-display Face ID and sub-panel camera may not arrive before 2024.

Ross also said that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would have slightly different dimensions than the iPhone 13 Pros due to the skinnier bezels and the pill-and-hole design replacing the notch. Read: How to set up an alternate appearance using Face ID