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iPhone 14 Pro hole-punch display design detailed in new report

Published Dec 24th, 2021 12:05PM EST
iPhone 13 Pro Front
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The iPhone 14 will deliver Apple’s most significant design change since 2017’s iPhone X. That’s when Apple introduced the notch, which serves two purposes. First, it houses the 3D face recognition authentication system known as Face ID. Second, it gives the iPhone a distinctive identity, allowing anyone to recognize the iPhone design. In 2022, Apple plans a drastic change for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max displays. The iPhone 14 Pro models will reportedly lose the notch in favor of the hole-punch display which is prevalent on Android devices these days. And now we have yet another report that seemingly confirms this design shift.

The big iPhone 14 display redesign

December isn’t even over, and we’ve had no less than three Korean reports claiming the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will have hole-punch displays. The Elec reported a couple of weeks ago that the 6.06-inch iPhone 14 Pro and the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max will feature hole-punch displays.

Then, a few days ago, Business Korea named the three display makers vying for iPhone 14 orders. Like The Elec, the site mentioned the same three companies: Samsung, LG, and BOE.

Both reports indicated that Samsung Display is the best positioned of the three to win Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro screen orders. They said LG can adapt its manufacturing technology to develop hole-punch displays that meet Apple’s needs. BOE, meanwhile, would need at least one more year to produce the displays.

A third report dropped earlier this week, also from The Elec. The new story details another development concerning Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro display supply chain.

While the previous reports weren’t confident about LG’s ability to win orders for the iPhone 14 Pro models, the new story claims LG will supply hole-punch screens to Apple next year.

Apple's iPhone 13 notch next to the iPhone 12 notchImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

LG to make hole-punch screens for Apple

LG will reportedly manufacture low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLEDs for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The report also notes that LG will supply LTPO panels with hole-in display — that’s the hole-punch display design that dominates the Android landscape.

The report says LG will be using parts of its AP4 line at the P9 factory in Paju, South Korea, for the LTPO TFT process. The production then moves to the E6 line, where the OLED panel is added to the display. This level of detail might not be exciting, but it seems to suggest that The Elec has factual information about LG’s supply contract for the iPhone 14.

LTPO is a key technology that allows Apple to offer support for dynamic refresh rates on the iPhone, scaling up to 120Hz. The iPhone 13 Pro models feature LTPO screens.

Samsung made all of the LTPO displays for the iPhone 13 Pro this year. In 2022, Samsung will provide the LTPO screen for the iPhone 14 Pro, the report notes.

BOE is also developing LTPO displays, but they won’t be ready in time for the iPhone 14. The Chinese display maker currently supplies low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) displays for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series. BOE will also provide LTPS for the 6-inch iPhone 14 model next year.

Apple is also expected to sell a non-Pro 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max next year, which should feature an LTPO screen. Both the regular and the Max versions will retain the notches at the top.

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.

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