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iPhone 14 Pro to feature major redesign with hole-punch display

Published Dec 9th, 2021 7:31AM EST
iPhone 13 Pro Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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After five years of using the notch display design on iPhones, Apple will finally remove it next year. That’s what several reports have said earlier this year, with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max set to receive hole-punch displays. That’s the design that most Android vendors use on their flagships right now, which Samsung essentially popularized. A new report from Korea says that the iPhone 14 Pro phones will get hole-punch displays, a claim that’s in line with other leaks. Samsung should be one of the big beneficiaries of such a design change, as the Korean company will likely supply the hole-punch OLED panels for Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro models.

The iPhone notch will not go away

Apple has been using the notch since 2017 to make the most of two separate innovations. On the one hand, it wanted to offer customers a large, edge-to-edge screen. On the other hand, Apple wanted to boost iPhone security with the help of 3D face recognition, a feature unavailable on most iPhone rivals from competitors. The notch achieves that, housing the TrueDepth camera elements that make Face ID possible.

What’s interesting about the iPhone 14 Pro hole-punch display rumors is that they don’t fully explain what will happen to the Face ID sensor. One expectation is that some Face ID components will go under the screen. Apple has been researching technologies to place face recognition and fingerprint sensors behind the OLED panel. But that’s just speculation at this point.

If these iPhone 14 Pro rumors are accurate, Apple will keep using the notch for the regular iPhone 14 models. Apple did reduce the size of the partial bezel this year for the first time since the iPhone X. The iPhone 13 notch is slightly narrower than before.

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

The iPhone 14 Pro hole-punch design

Korean site The Elec is the latest to report that Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro phones will feature a hole-punch display design. The report says the 6.06-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max will both have hole-punch selfie cameras, according to sources.

The regular iPhone 14 models will also come in 6.06-inch and 6.7-inch sizes. Other reports also offered the same claims. The larger model will replace the iPhone mini and will sell as the iPhone 14 Max. The cheaper iPhone 14 handsets will get notch designs like the iPhone 13 models.

The report says that the iPhone 14 Pro models will have LTPO TFT OLED panels similar to those used in the iPhone 13 Pro versions. These displays support the dynamic 120Hz screen refresh rates that Apple just introduced with this year’s Pro models.

Galaxy S10 Plus phone
Galaxy S10 Plus with a hole-punch display design. Image source: Zach Epstein, BGR

The race to supply hole-punch displays to Apple

Samsung will mass-produce the iPhone 14 Pro hole-punch displays, the report claims. The Korean giant is preparing a new line of production. Laser equipment supplier Philoptics announced a supply contract with Samsung Display earlier this month. The devices are likely needed for the laser system that will cut the hole-display for the iPhone 14 Pro.

Samsung is already using hole-punch display manufacturing technology for the screens in the Galaxy S and other flagship devices.

The report notes that LG Display is also looking to win Apple orders for the iPhone 14 Pro display designs. The screen maker plans to develop its own hole-display screens.

Interestingly, LG is also working on under-display camera technologies. These screens show the selfie screen only when the camera is in use. Otherwise, they offer a full, uninterrupted display. This year, Samsung has used a similar screen for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Other handset makers have adopted or plan to adopt under-display camera tech.

Finally, there’s Chinese screen supplier BOE. The company will provide LTPS TFT OLED panels to Apple next year, likely for the non-Pro iPhone 14 models. BOE will start supplying LTPO TFT OLED panels for the iPhone 15 series at the earliest, the report says.

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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