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Apple might’ve found a way to make the notch smaller on next year’s iPhones

iPhone X Review

Apple’s tenth-anniversary iPhone X is the first completely redesigned iPhone the world has seen since all the way back in 2014. That’s when Apple finally caved to the wants of its customers and released two new iPhone models with larger displays. Apple was apparently so impressed with its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus designs that it decided to use them for four consecutive years. Thankfully, the fourth year was 2017, and the familiar iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were accompanied by Apple’s fresh new iPhone X.

Since the iPhone X is a complete reimagining of Apple’s iPhone user experience, it has taken many users a bit of time to get used to. People who do have complaints seem to have three main issues with the phone in particular: they have problems with Face ID, they can’t remember all the new gestures, and they don’t like the “notch” cut out of the top of the display. While Touch ID isn’t coming back anytime soon and those new gestures are here to stay, it looks like we may have some good news regarding the iPhone X’s notch.

Apple’s iPhone X ditches the home button so that the display can stretch almost all the way to the bottom edge of the phone. The screen reaches just as far at the top of the phone as well, but only on the sides. A big chunk has been taken out of the middle of the screen along the top edge to make room for a speaker, a front-facing camera, and the sensor cluster Apple calls TrueDepth Camera.

The TrueDepth Camera is what enables Face ID, an advanced facial recognition system that is far more secure than similar biometric authentication systems on rival phones. It works by using an infrared dot projector to beam 30,000 invisible dots onto the user’s face, and then a special camera reads the dots and matches the resulting data to the phone’s saved face profile.

Apple is expected to unveil three new iPhone models this September, and all three of them will reportedly feature the iPhone X’s “all-screen” design, complete with the infamous notch. According to a new report from ETNews, however, next year’s new iPhones might not be quite as notchy.

“According to industries, it is heard that Apple is planning to strengthen face sensing function starting from 2019 models,” the report reads. “That is why it is planning to increase number of parts that will be used for iPhones and is looking into combination of a face recognition module with a camera module.” It should be noted that this is a translation of a Chinese-language report.

It’s possible that Apple’s upcoming new iPhones will combine elements of the TrueDepth camera with the standard front-facing camera. Apart from allowing Apple to squeeze a more complex solution into the phone, this might also allow the company to reduce the footprint of the sensor array. In other words, next year’s new iPhones might have a smaller notch.

Nothing is confirmed for the time being, of course, and many people out there like the notch. This is good news even for notch fans, however, because a smaller notch means upcoming iPhones would have more room for the screen.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.