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iPhone 14 notch will be replaced by a true all-screen design, trusted insider says

Published Sep 9th, 2021 4:22PM EDT
iPhone 14 Notch
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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On Tuesday, Apple will unveil the iPhone 13 series, but a prominent leaker has already shown the world a different iPhone version, next year’s purported iPhone 14. That’s YouTuber Jon Prosser, who produced several renders of unreleased products in recent years. His iPhone 14 renders suggest the 2022 phones will look a lot like the iconic iPhone 4. The most important change concerns the notch. The renders show an iPhone 14 Pro Max version featuring a hole-punch camera instead of a traditional notch.

Now, a display insider familiar with screen tech developments says that the iPhone 14 will indeed lose the infamous notch. According to his intel, the Face ID components will be underneath the screen.

The iPhone 14 rumors

Prosser’s fresh renders showing a notch-less iPhone 14 aren’t surprising. What’s surprising is that Prosser got to see an early iPhone 14 design so soon. Apple has likely started work on the iPhone 14 just as it gets ready for the iPhone 13 launch. But that iPhone 14 design is far from being locked in.

Apple iPhone 14 Leaked Design
Leaked design of the iPhone 14 Image source: Front Page Tech

Several leakers have already claimed that Apple’s 2022 iPhones might feature both Touch ID and Face ID. They also said the sensors might be placed under the screen. Android vendors already sell phones with under-screen fingerprint sensors. And they’ve started embracing under-display camera solutions as well.

Separately, Apple has plenty of patents that describe technology for placing sensors under the screen. These sensors could capture 2D and 3D images, so they’d be suitable for both Touch ID and Face ID. Also interesting is the fact that Apple has filed new patent applications for these inventions in recent years.

The technology needed to get there isn’t quite ready, so Apple must be taking a cautious approach here. This is what the company has always done with the iPhone. That’s probably why the iPhone 13 is getting a narrower notch instead of ditching it completely. Rumors say that’s possible because the top speaker is being moved above the notch.

The days of the notch are numbered

Display analyst Ross Young responded to Prosser’s iPhone 14 leak on Twitter. Young said his company mentioned the notch-free iPhone 14 design back in June. Ming-Chi Kuo also mentioned this new design a while back, and he’s the most accurate Apple leaker out there.

According to Young, Apple’s 2022 iPhone series will feature two iPhone sizes split into two families. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will be the more affordable handsets. Each one will also get a Pro equivalent.

The analyst says the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max might feature hole-punch displays with under-display Face ID and Touch ID. The cheaper iPhones might have Touch ID, and they might still feature the same notch design as the iPhone 13.

Young said in a separate tweet that under-display Face ID isn’t final, and Apple is still working on the technology.

Young said that the tech is “easier than under panel cameras.” This could explain why Apple might want a hole-punch display design for the iPhone 14. Apple might want to kill the notch for good, but it also wants to deliver a great selfie camera experience.

As a reminder, the notch features several components that play a role in Face ID authentication, as seen below. Everything but the front camera might be placed under the screen. The speaker and microphone might go inside the thin bezel at the top of the notch, if Prosser’s renders are accurate.

iPhone X Notch
iPhone X notch houses Face ID cameras and sensors, the selfie camera, and the speaker. Image source: Apple Inc.
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.