Will Apple Slim Down the TrueDepth Camera Notch for 2018’s iPhones?

2019 iPhone Lineup Rumored to Slim Down Obtrusive 'Notch' Credit: 9to5Mac
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Apple is readying a trio of new iPhone models for the fall of 2018. While all three are slated to boast Face ID, thanks to their adoption of Apple’s TrueDepth camera system; as far as we know, the company has no imminent plans to update its Face ID technology this year.

That may be the case.. However, a new research note published this week by Barclays investment bank paints a slightly different picture.

Saying that they believe Apple’s Face ID system will “evolve slightly,” Barclays analysts Andrew Gardiner, Hiral Patel, Joseph Wolf, and Blayne Curtis predicted in their research note that Apple will incorporate a “smaller notch” on its 2018 iPhones.

The note, a copy of which was obtained this week by MacRumors, goes on to corroborate earlier rumors that Apple will bring Face ID to a redesigned, 2018 iPad model.

“Based on several data points within the 4Q17 reporting period and our supply chain meetings at CES, we remain confident that Apple is set to deploy its TrueDepth 3D sensor across the iPhone range in 2018 and to also add it to the pending iPad Pro refresh as well,” the analysts assert, noting that, “Given the complexity and multiple years spent developing the current generation of [TrueDepth camera] module, combined with supplier comments over the past month regarding multi-year customer commitments, we do not envisage a major change to the architectural make-up in 2018.”

However, “We do expect the sensor to evolve slightly, potentially reducing in size (i.e., smaller notch) and improving in specificity […] helping to further drive very strong growth [for some Apple suppliers] in 2H18 as the second generation of sensor ships in this year’s new iPhones.”

Will Apple Make the Notch Smaller?

While the idea of a “smaller notch” (relative to iPhone X’s) sounds like something we can all get onboard with, the likelihood of it actually happening, unfortunately, is quite slim.

As we mentioned, not only is Apple’s current TrueDepth camera system several years ahead of its closest competition, but from a historical standpoint, Apple has never before rushed to modify a feature or design element so shortly after its debut.

Touch ID security was introduced alongside the 7th generation iPhone 5s, for example, and has remained a central iPhone feature to this day. But as the analysts, themselves, confirm Apple is expected to transition its range of iPhone, and at least one iPad, from Touch ID to Face ID this year.

Barclays prediction also appears to contradict an earlier rumor that Apple will not be making any substantial updates to its TrueDepth camera system until 2019, at the earliest.

As always, therefore, we highly recommend taking this prediction with a grain of salt until further notice.

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