Ever since it made its first appearance two years ago, the iPhone X’s notch has had its detractors – though there were also some admirers and even copycats. Two new reports, however, claim that Apple plans to drop it from upcoming iPhone designs. At least one 2020 model might already be without a notch, and by 2021 it could be phased out altogether.
The first report was released by renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who normally gets his info directly from Apple’s supply chain. Kuo said in a research note that the company plans to make the size of the iPhone’s front lens smaller in an attempt to boost the screen-to-body ratio of future models.
Secondly, the China Times quoted a Credit Suisse analyst who claimed that Apple plans to abandon Face ID in favour of a fingerprint reader fitted underneath the device’s display. That will happen in 2021, though the report added that the first iPhone without a notch could be released next year.
Apple abandoning the notch would not surprise industry experts. The firm is widely believed to be developing an in-house fingerprint reader – it even registered a patent for one. On top of that, other phone manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Oppo have already confirmed plans for screens with embedded cameras.
Dropping Face ID altogether, however, seems less likely. This technology allows owners to validate payments via their iPhones – something that other smartphone manufacturers have been finding difficult to duplicate. Face ID has also become a strong part of Apple’s marketing campaign for the iPhone.
Abandoning that in favour of a fingerprint sensor, embedded or not, appears unlikely – particularly since Apple has also registered patents related to combining print readers and face-unlocking features.