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By now it’s not exactly news that this year’s “iPhone 14” may finally spell the end of the classic notch design — at least for some of the models in the new lineup.
While Apple has reportedly been working on ways to eliminate the notch for years, we first heard reliable reports nearly a year ago that the iPhone 14 would herald the arrival of the first “notch-less” iPhone models.
Many of us have been hoping for at least a couple of years that Apple would solve this with a revolutionary under-display camera system, such that no front screen cutouts would be required at all. Unfortunately, this kind of camera technology has proven itself to be far from ready for primetime, so it looks like, for now at least, the notch will simply be replaced by a hole-punch camera, or possibly even a pill-shaped cutout.
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Now, a new set of alleged schematics are giving us a peek into exactly what that may look like. An image of the front display first showed up on Weibo, and while we’d normally take that with a grain of salt, prolific leaker Jon Prosser independently confirmed its accuracy.
As Prosser illustrates, these images show cutouts that are considerably larger than what most sources had previously suggested. However, these latest schematics also contradict last month’s report from display analyst Ross Young, who has generally had a pretty good track record about such things.
While Young backed up the dual-orifice design, his renders show the pill-shaped hole centered at the top, with the punch-hole off to the left. Not only is this the opposite arrangement from the Weibo and Prosser schematics, but those schematics also center the two holes differently.
It’s worth noting that Young had originally predicted that Apple would move to under-display Face ID — not necessarily for the actual camera, but for at least some of the other sensors. It’s probably fair to say that Apple has been looking at ways to do this, so Young’s information may not have been entirely incorrect. However, with the iPhone 14 design now locked down, presumably Apple couldn’t get this working to a satisfactory level of accuracy.
In fact, according to Young’s information, we can expect the two-hole design to continue into the 2023 “iPhone 15” lineup, where it will reportedly appear across all iPhone models. Most reports this year suggest that it’s only coming to the two Pro models, with the standard 6.1-inch “iPhone 14” and 6.7-inch “iPhone 14 Max” retaining the same notch design as the iPhone 13.
Of course, there’s also still time for that to change by next year. Veteran Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been predicting for some time that Apple is hoping to move more of the camera and sensor technology under the display by 2023. To this end, it’s also reportedly working to shrink the front camera module, which at least means that even if Apple can’t get things working through the display, it will hopefully at least be able to shrink the sizes of the holes by next year.
Beyond the front display, the so-called “iPhone 14” lineup will continue the squared-edge design aesthetic that began with the iPhone 12, while eliminating the camera bump, and possibly even shifting to round volume buttons reminiscent of the iPhone 4 era.
The 5.4-inch iPhone mini will also be retired, with this year’s iPhone lineup coming in only two sizes — 6.1-inch standard and 6.7-inch “Max” versions for both the “iPhone 14” and the “iPhone 14 Pro” variants.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]