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New iPhone 14 pill-and-hole design leaks answer a big camera question

iPhone 14 Pro 3D Renders

The iPhone 14 will be the first iPhone series in years to deliver two different designs. However, the iPhone 14/Max will be a lot more similar to the iPhone 14 Pro/Max than the same-year iPhone 8 and iPhone X models. That’s because one big iPhone 14 design element will set them apart, the pill-and-hole notch replacement for the Pro models.

All rumors out there say the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will feature two cutouts at the top of the screen instead of the regular notch. One will have the shape of a pill to house multiple sensors or cameras. The second one will be a circular cutout, similar to what’s available on most Android flagships. Thanks to a series of new iPhone 14 leaks, we finally know where Apple might place the selfie camera.

The new iPhone 14 pill-and-hole design

Apple isn’t going for a dual design approach just for the sake of differentiating the iPhone 14 Pros from the non-Pro models. Apple wants to make a perfect all-screen iPhone, and the pill-and-notch approach gets us closer to that. But there’s no question the notch removal might be enough to convince some people to purchase a more expensive iPhone 14 Pro version than a regular model.

While we’re some four months away from the iPhone 14 launch, the pill-and-hole design seems guaranteed. It surfaced in rumors months ago. And it’s appearing in every iPhone 14 rumor right now.

Initially, reports said that Face ID will go under the screen. The iPhone 14 Pro will feature a hole-punch display. But then, more reports emerged detailing the pill-and-hole approach. But those reports did not seem to agree on the selfie camera placement.

Logic dictates that the FaceTime camera occupies the circular cutout. The pill would house the Face ID components. But placing the camera in the circular opening means it’ll be off-center. Then again, the front camera in current iPhones doesn’t have a central position either.

iPhone 14 display panels leak online.
iPhone 14 display panels leak online. Image source: Weibo/Twitter

The new iPhone 14 rumors

This brings us to a new set of iPhone 14 rumors. Taken together, they seem to settle the pill-and-hole selfie camera question for good.

First, an insider addressed the sensor placement in the iPhone 14 Pro’s new notch in a recent newsletter. “That notch will include a pill-shaped cutout for Face ID and a circular cutout for the camera,” he said. “That will be Apple’s solution until it’s able to fully embed Face ID and the front-facing camera into the display itself. That’s still at least three or four years away.”

A few days later, we got the image above from China featuring purported glass panels for the four iPhone 14 models. They seem to confirm the pill-and-hole design for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Also, they seem to confirm rumors that the screens will be slightly taller due to a reduction in bezel thickness.

But, more importantly, they tell us that the iPhone 14 Pro camera sits in the hole rather than the pill. The glass is uniform whether we’re looking at the actual glass layer that goes on top of the OLED screen or screen protectors. It doesn’t feature actual openings for the sensors and cameras.

With that in mind, it’s clear that the circular opening lets in more light than the pill. Therefore, the selfie camera must sit right under that circular “hole.”

iPhone 13 Pro (left) vs. iPhone 12 Pro (right): Display assembly comparison
iPhone 13 Pro (left) vs. iPhone 12 Pro (right): Display assembly comparison. Image source: iFixit

If you need more proof, check out the screen assemblies above from the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro from iFixit’s teardowns. You can tell where the selfie camera goes with ease.


More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.