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Apple’s next iPhones might introduce a much smaller notch

January 7th, 2019 at 6:35 PM
iPhone smaller notch

Notch-related rumors surrounding new iPhones had already been rampant up to this point, with the chatter encompassing everything from the possibility that 2019’s iPhones would sport smaller notches and even the potential that Apple might soon give us completely notch-free phones.

An announcement today from a company believed to be one of Apple’s suppliers, meanwhile, is giving new life to the speculation, thanks to Australian company AMS’ unveiling of new sensor technology that Apple could use in future handsets to shrink the size of the notch in which the Face ID camera system is housed.

According to the company’s announcement today, the new technology is a light and proximity sensor package that’s small enough to be fitted behind an OLED smartphone screen. “Smartphone OEMs today are striving to maximize their products’ screen-to-body ratio, reducing the bezel area as much as possible on the display’s face,” AMS senior marketing manager David Moon said in a release. The new package, he continued, enables phone designers to take this to an all-new level, possibly even eliminating the bezel entirely.

Such a thing is possible, he said, because this new technology “can operate behind an OLED display, a breakthrough enabled by the outstanding sensitivity of the device and by the implementation of sophisticated measurement algorithms to compensate for the optical distortion caused by the OLED display.”

Reuters notes that AMS — which doesn’t officially list Apple as a customer — is believed to provide the iPhone maker with optical sensors for the camera system on the iPhone X, XR, XS and XS Max.

Tipster Ice Universe has come out with a prediction that iPhones will ditch the notch completely next year in favor of a hole in the display, while retaining the notch for the 2019 series iPhones. The 2019 iPhones, of course, are still several months away, and they’re already the subject of much speculation including reports that the high-end variants will sport a new rear camera module. AMS’ announcement today certainly seems to suggest that, with the notch likely to stick around for at least another year, perhaps we’re going to see Apple start shrinking this design element very soon.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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