Before the iPhone 13 arrived, there was a great deal of speculation that Apple would finally ditch the notch. The sensor housing featuring the selfie camera and Face ID sensor had been around since the iPhone X. Nearly every other major phone maker had since adopted a hole-punch design.
But even as the rest of the industry moved on, Apple stuck to its guns. Sure, the notch is smaller on the iPhone 13 models, but it is still very much there. 2022 may spell the death of the notch, though, as new reports suggest that Apple is bringing a brand new design to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
iPhone 14 Pro to feature a unique display design
Initially, rumors pointed to a hole-punch display similar to what we have seen from Android vendors in recent years. Presumably, Apple would have found a way to place the Face ID components under the screen, and the selfie camera would be visible through the cutout.
Then, last September, Twitter user ShrimpApplePro shared an intriguing image of an iPhone display with two cutouts. One was circular and the other was pill-shaped. The camera would be placed inside the circular cutout, and the Face ID system would be in the pill. At the time, we did not think much of the leak, but this week, a reliable source confirmed the legitimacy of the photo.
According to Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will feature the “hole + pill” design from the leaked photo:
We now believe Apple will have a hole + pill design on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models. The smaller hole will not be invisible…The two hole concept will be unique to Apple, like the notch, not similar to all the pill models from Huawei…Let's see those new renders pic.twitter.com/Udt8cTKzPZ
— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) January 12, 2022
In a follow-up tweet, Young added that the hole will likely be for the dot projector. Meanwhile, the pill will contain the selfie and IR cameras. There was some speculation that Apple would be able to hide at least some of the sensors underneath the display. It is still early enough for rumors to change, but for now, the consensus is that this will be the new look for at least a generation.
Explaining the future of the iPhone notch
At first glance, the evolution of the notch might not look like much of an upgrade. Though more of the display is visible, there is now a weird sliver of screen between the two cutouts. The good news is that an OLED display makes this issue easy to fix, as Max Weinbach notes:
You guys do know they can disable the display between the two and since it’s OLED, it’ll look black, right?
Not saying they will but could explain this https://t.co/zVCY9ATcfy
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) January 12, 2022
Personally, I still think the notch is an eyesore, even if I have gotten used to it after owning an iPhone 11 for over two years. I have no doubt that iPhone owners would adapt to the double cutout design relatively quickly as well. Plus, as Young and others have noted, it would help the iPhone to stand out in an increasingly crowded field.
Until Apple has the technology to put the camera and Face ID sensors beneath the display, it will continue to set its phone design apart from its biggest rivals. The iPhone 14 picture will get clearer as we get closer to fall.