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iPhone 14 Pro will put Face ID under the display, leaker claims

Published Jan 6th, 2022 4:38PM EST
iPhone 13 Pro Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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It’s only January, but new iPhone 14 rumors are already popping up daily. The iPhone 14 Pro will feature a hole-punch display like most Android phones, with Apple finally ditching the notch design it introduced with the iPhone X in 2017. The hole-punch display is the next logical step for Apple. The company is expected to deliver a true all-screen iPhone with no buttons or ports in the coming years. The iPhone 14 Pro hole-punch design is the next innovation to help Apple get there. And a new report from a leaker provides a key detail about Face ID functionality on the iPhone 14 Pro. Apparently, Apple will place some of the 3D face recognition sensors under the display.

The hole-punch display rumors

The first iPhone 14 Pro hole-punch display design rumors arrived back in September, just as Apple was launching the iPhone 13 series. But they picked up steam in December when several reports from Korea detailed the supply chain “wars” for the hole-punch screens.

Only the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will feature hole-punch displays. LG and Samsung will provide the screens, which will support dynamic refresh rates of up to 120Hz. Chinese screen maker BOE will not supply parts for the 2022 iPhone Pro models.

We told you more than once that Apple embracing hole-punch designs does not represent the death of Face ID. We speculated that the iPhone 14 Pro would continue to offer facial recognition support. But Apple would place some of the Face ID components beneath the iPhone 14’s screen. After all, the company has no fewer than three patents that describe under-screen Touch ID and Face ID technology.

Furthermore, a leaker said earlier this week that the iPhone 14 Pro will bring a hole-punch-sized notch. We speculated at the time that Apple’s hole-punch displays might not feature a circular hole at the top. Instead, Apple might use a pill-shaped cutout to house the FaceTime camera and additional components.

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

The Face ID notch houses several components, not just the selfie camera. In the image above, we’re looking at an infrared camera, flood illuminator, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and dot projector. The notch above belongs to the iPhone X. Apple changed the notch design with the iPhone 13, moving the speaker outside.

How Face ID might work on iPhone 14 Pro

Apple might pack some of these components inside the pill-shaped Face ID notch on the iPhone 14 Pro models. The infrared camera might be one of them, but that’s just speculation.

What’s important to note is that Apple leaker dylandkt claims that Apple will place Face ID hardware under the display: 

I am able to corroborate information regarding a hole punch camera for the pro models of the iPhone 14. Face ID hardware will be placed under the display. As a reassurance to any concerns, the functionality of these sensors have not been negatively affected by this change.

Dylan said in a following remark that the hole-punch camera will have the shape of a pill.

Leakers aren’t always right about the information they present. But Dylan has been accurate about other Apple products in the past. Even if he’s wrong about Face ID functionality on iPhone 14 Pro, other rumors do say that the Pro models will get hole-punch screens.

As for the pill-shape notch, the iPhone 14 Pro wouldn’t be the first phone to use the design. We saw it on the Galaxy S10 Plus in 2019, and the device didn’t even support 3D face recognition. Huawei used a larger pill-shape notch on the Huawei Mate 40 Pro in late 2020, one of the very few Android phones that support 3D face recognition. But all the 3D face recognition sensors were placed inside that pill-shaped bezel.

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.