Apple’s iPhone 13 is due to launch later in 2021, but it looks like it won’t lose the notch that’s become a trademark of iPhone design in recent years. That’s not to say Apple isn’t preparing to change the design by removing the notch in the future, it just might be a question of when rather than if. In the meantime, here’s the latest on when the iPhone series is now rumored to finally ditch the notch.
Apple has always adopted a familiar iPhone design year after year with the latest iPhone 12 series still somewhat similar to the original model. However, there have been some major changes in that time, such as a reduction in bezels and the removal of the home button on flagship models. Another more recent change was the addition of a notch at the top of the display to house the front camera and Face ID tech. While the iPhone X was the first iPhone model to come with a notch, it wasn’t the first phone overall. That status belongs to the Essential PH-1.
Since the iPhone X, the notch has remained in use on newer premium iPhone models. While many Android smartphones also embraced the notch over the last few years, that has been slowly changing, with the likes of Samsung switching to a punch-hole display instead, and not just on its premium smartphones. Although Apple has yet to make the same change, it isn’t expected to this year either. However, a new report from MacRumors, citing Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo for the information, suggests the notch will at least be smaller on the iPhone 13 than on the 12 series. Not to mention, it will also come with a 120Hz refresh rate as well. Another recent report has also pointed to the ability to buy a 1TB iPhone 13, increasing the top storage option from the 512GB currently available with the iPhone 12 Pro models.
While the latest information only points to a smaller notch on the iPhone 13 series, in a separate MacRumors report, the same analyst stated that a notch-free iPhone is likely to arrive next year with the iPhone 14 series. However, that might not be for all models. Ming-Chi Kuo was specifically noted mentioning the notch-free design would primarily apply to high-end iPhone models, likely meaning the Pro and Pro Max smartphones. However, this was caveated with the explanation that, if production yields allow, the punch-hole design could be used for all of the iPhone 14 series.
Of course, if and when Apple does switch from a notch to a punch-hole design, there are likely to be other design changes in effect as well. Most notably, the company will likely need to figure out a new way to utilize Face ID. Apple is understood to be working on a new under-display system for Touch ID, so that may include some form of facial recognition support negating the need for the Face ID sensor at the top. However, the analyst was also quoted stating an under-display solution won’t arrive until 2023, and possible only for one iPhone model. If correct, this still might leave Apple in need of an alternate solution with the notch-free iPhone 14 series.