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This might be our first look at the iPhone 13’s smaller notch

Published Mar 23rd, 2021 8:11PM EDT
iPhone 13 design
Image: Apple Inc.

Ever since Apple introduced the sensor housing “notch” on the display of the iPhone X, we’ve been speculating about how long it will take the company to either shrink it or eliminate the notch altogether. Sadly for notch haters, it doesn’t look like the design element is going away any time soon, but leaked photos from the Greek repair shop iRepair (via MacRumors) might give us an idea of what Apple plans to do with the notch on the iPhone 13.

This week, iRepair sent MacRumors an alleged photo of the front glass panels for the iPhone 13 models. As with the iPhone 12 lineup, the three panels feature the same 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch displays. The notch appears to be smaller than the one that appears on the iPhone 12 due to the fact that the earpiece speaker has been moved up from the center of the notch to the top bezel. There were actually rumors that Apple would make this change on the iPhone 12, but Apple fans had to settle for flat sides and a big notch instead.

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iPhone-13-Notch
Purported photos of the iPhone 13 front panel. Image source: MacRumors (via iRepair)

Reliable sources are convinced that this is the year that Apple will finally alter the notch. Here is what one DigiTimes piece said back in January about a possible design change coming to the 2021 iPhone:

The next-generation iPhones’ Face ID system will see some design changes with the size of the notch at the top of the screen to shrink and their ultrawide angle lens upgraded from 5P to 6P, the sources said.

The new design integrates Rx, Tx and flood illuminator into the same camera module, similar to that of a LiDAR scanner in the back camera module, to enable smaller notch sizes, the sources stated.

As MacRumors notes, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously claimed that the notch would shrink this year as well, but he didn’t say anything about the repositioning of the earpiece grille. As always, we should take blurry photos of unconfirmed iPhone components with a grain of salt, but as we’ve learned in recent years, the closer we get to an iPhone launch, the more we’re going to learn about the new phone models. We’ll keep our eyes peeled.

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Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.