After years of sporting a distinctive notch, the iPhone may finally shed the divisive feature with the iPhone 16 in 2024. There will be no hole punches either, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. It’ll be the first iPhone with an uninterrupted full-front display.
“I think the real full-screen iPhone will come in 2024. High-end iPhones in 2024 would adopt an under-display front camera alongside the under-display Face ID. A lowlight condition is detrimental to front camera quality, and [Image Signal Processor and] algorithm are critical for quality improvements,” Kuo said.
Apple’s plans to build a full-screen iPhone have been documented in the past, with the company reportedly testing in-display Touch ID as one alternative to the notch. “While Apple had tested in-screen Touch ID for the next flagship iPhones, it won’t make the cut this year. I believe Apple is all-in on Face ID for its higher-end iPhones and its long-term goal is to implement Face ID in the display itself,” Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote in an August 2021 Power On newsletter release. The iPhone 13’s release later confirmed the continued inclusion of Face ID, albeit with a slightly slimmer notch.
Display analyst Ross Young had claimed that Apple would be moving away from an in-display fingerprint sensor, so this serves as a bit of corroboration.
If implemented, Apple would not be the first smartphone manufacturer to offer a full-display experience. Some have attempted to do by the way of pop-up cameras like OnePlus, while others have worked on in-display cameras as with Samsung’s Z Fold 3. Neither option has proven beneficial, with the inclusion of additional moving parts and a reduction in camera quality being cons of each respectively.
While the biggest changes are still years out, Apple is expected to make a drastic one to the 2022 iPhone 14 as well — the pricier models at least. The company is set to remove the notch from the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, and replace it with either a pill and a hole-punch, just a pill, or something else entirely depending on whose rumors/opinions you believe. It would be a drastic change for a company that has often kept designs for longer than most, but it would help in further differentiating the cheaper iPhones from the more expensive ones.