Leaked Renders of New ‘iPhone 14 Pro’ Show What Life Will Look Like After the Notch

iPhone 14 Pro cutout renders 91mobiles Credit: 91mobiles
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It’s not exactly news anymore that at least some models in Apple’s 2022 iPhone lineup are going to ditch the notch. In fact, we’ve been hearing these reports for over a year now. However, a new series of leaked renders are giving us a better idea of exactly what form that’s going to take.

It was March 2021 when veteran Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the “iPhone 14” would get a “punch-hole” front camera, although back then it was hard to say exactly what that meant.

In its simplest form, that may have just been a single round hole for the camera to peek through. The problem is that there’s more to the iPhone’s front camera than just a single image sensor. The TrueDepth camera system also includes an infrared emitter and other sensors designed to do depth mapping to power things like Face ID, Portrait Mode photography, and Animoji/Memoji.

For years, some have speculated that Apple’s way of getting rid of the notch would be to eliminate Face ID entirely and return to Touch ID, but place it under the glass instead. That seemed highly unlikely, though, and most reports suggested that in-display Touch ID would complement Face ID, rather than replacing it.

Either way, more recent reports have suggested that Apple’s under-display Touch ID project is dead in the water. Last fall, there were rumours that Apple was working on under-display Face ID, but even if that’s true, it’s unclear if it will be ready for this year’s “iPhone 14” lineup.

A Pill-Shaped Cutout

Early this year, it became apparent that Apple was planning to move to more of a pill-shaped cutout, which would provide enough room for both the normal camera sensor and the rest of the TrueDepth hardware for Face ID.

At the time, images showed both a pill and a hole, while noting that the hole wouldn’t actually be visible from the outside. Instead, it’s said to contain the dot projector for Face ID, which Apple apparently has figured out how to place under the screen.

This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds, since the dot projector is really just an infrared emitter, and punching invisible infrared light through an OLED screen shouldn’t be much of a problem. Infrared is an entirely different spectrum of light than what the display emits on its own.

This sort of lines up the leaked schematics we saw last month, which showed the pill-shaped cutout centered at the top of the display. That design would make a lot of sense if the second, smaller hole was invisible.

Unfortunately, the jury is still out on whether that’s actually going to be the case, and a set of new renders from 91mobiles, which it claims are based on leaked factory CAD images, show the pill-shaped cutout slightly off-centre, with a visible hole immediately to the right of it.

Although 91mobiles doesn’t say whether the smaller hole will be visible or not, if the CAD drawings are accurate, the position of the two cutouts strongly suggests that it will be. It would be very odd for Apple to have only the pill-shaped cutout visible and not choose to center it. Even if there are engineering and design issues affecting sensor placement, Apple is the kind of company that sweats the details, and would almost certainly do everything it can to overcome these challenges in the name of aesthetics.

What’s also interesting about the renders from 91mobiles is that they show the same traditional pill-shaped side buttons and camera bump. This contradicts reports we’d heard from sources such as Jon Prosser that Apple was planning to eliminate the bump and adopt a circular button design similar to what was used on the iPhone 4. Similarly, the CAD images also show that the speaker grille will still be embedded in the top bezel.

Since the rumours of a bigger redesign are from last fall, it’s possible that Apple was considering a more ambitious design for this year that it later decided to abandon. It could also be that some leakers got a peek at a design concept for the 2023 “iPhone 15.” If that’s true, we wouldn’t hold our breath, as it’s hard to put much stake in such early designs, which would be little more than Apple throwing around ideas at this stage.

[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.]

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