Any chance of a no-notch display in iPhone 13?

All the talk here in Japan is about the new various Androids with under the screen cameras, etc., that allow them to go notch-less.

Is there any chance at all that the iPhone 13 will have no notch? The only rumors I’ve read so far are “smaller notch.”

Under-the-screen cameras have been done in the Android world for a few years, but the results haven’t been that impressive. The resolution and brightness of the resulting images is less than what people today (especially those used to iPhone cameras) will expect.

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I remember reading somewhere that the notch is important for a more secure Face ID. That’s probably why Apple has been sticking with reducing the size of the notch as much as it can, rather than eliminating it.

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The notch holds more than just the camera. The included VCSEL (along with the IR detector) that allows iPhone to blast a face with a matrix of IR dots, create from that a depth map, and use that for FaceID authentication, is not something any shipping Android has.

Apple also tends to take its iPhone cameras quite seriously. I have a hard time imagining they would be willing to sacrifice performance (low-light noise, artifacts, etc.) just to embed the camera under the screen, and as @Shamino points out, under screen cameras in shipping Androids have all displayed those problems.

The one thing I could definitely see them do is remove the speaker form the notch. And from all the rumors I’ve seen, that is one of the things they might actually do in iPhone 13, putting it into the frame instead and thereby reducing the notch in width.


That all makes sense. I guess the FaceID detector can’t fit on the frame as well?

It can fit in many places, but it needs to be pointed at the user. Very few people will appreciate being told to flip over the phone or look at it’s edge in order to use Face ID.

Apple didn’t consider it acceptable to put a TouchID sensor on the back of the phone (where many Android phones put it), and that’s far less intrusive on the user experience,

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Another interesting patent application:

I don’t know how likely this is to appear in a real product, but it is interesting. The primary issue here is how reliable the system can be, given that it involves motors and moving parts.

What does hiding the iPhone’s notch when not in use even mean? :slight_smile:

According to the article, we’re looking at a flexible LCD/OLED panel under the glass that runs all the way to the top of the screen (with no notch). The camera, dot projector and related parts are underneath.

When the camera and related equipment are needed, a motor folds/slides the display out of the way in order to expose it. Then they fold/slide it back when they’re no longer needed.

Of course, this is just a patent application and doesn’t necessarily mean it will ever appear in a product.

And, of course, perhaps it would be easier and more useful to just design a phone with a pop-up camera and leave the display alone.

Though it is rather elderly, there’s a good article here that details why Steve Jobs and Tim Cook became mega patent hoarders and warriors, and why the constant research, purchases and legal battles continue: