The days of the iPhone screen notch are numbered. Apple will supposedly begin replacing it with a pair of holes in 2022. And a very reliable source claims the the 2024 iPhone will have all its front-facing sensors behind the screen.
Apple supposedly would like too make the change more quickly, but is waiting on more companies to be able to produce the necessary components.
Expect 2022 iPhone 14 Pro to be a double pill
Word that some of the iPhone 14 models would have a “hole punch” camera leaked out even before the iPhone 13 debuted. And additional details have surfaced since then.
Rather than a single hole on the screen, the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will have “a pill shaped hole for the Face ID elements and another hole for the selfie camera,” according to Ross Young with Display Supply Chain Consultants.
The more affordable iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max coming late in 2022 will keep the current notch.
Looking ahead to 2023, Young predicts all four Apple iOS models released that autumn will have the double screen hole design.
Removing screen notch and cutouts completely
But that will apparently change in 2024. The DSCC analyst says an iPhone with no screen cutout at all will be on the market in 2024.
While nearly all iPhone users have become reconciled — even oblivious — to the screen notch since it debuted in 2017, surely no one will complain when it is replaced with a truly edge-to-edge display. As long as the change doesn’t make Face ID less reliable, or effect the quality of the front-facing camera.
Apple is reportedly exploring different options to put the Face ID sensors under the screen. “Perhaps the most critical area is replacing the conventional Yb/MgAg cathode on top of the OLED stack, which is not very transmissive in IR regions,” notes Young. “Potential solutions include patterning the cathode materials, switching to a transparent cathode or backside laser drilling. We understand that the cathode patterning approach is the preferred approach.”
But whatever the approach, the analyst was told by his sources that “under panel Face ID won’t likely meet the timing for 2023 mass production.” Hence the prediction it will be a feature of the 2024 iPhone.
Obviously, a selfie camera will also be necessary. Samsung already put an under-screen camera in 2021’s Galaxy Z Fold 3. But the technology was clearly not ready for general use yet.
Ross Young’s predictions about upcoming Apple products have so far been 100% accurate, according to AppleTrack. But he is a display expert so all his predictions are about Mac, iPad, etc. screens. He has no information on processors, cameras or other components.