While the iPhone 12’s design was a significant departure from previous iterations of Apple’s handset, the recently released iPhone 13 looks almost identical to its predecessor.
The only real difference, and you need to look hard to notice it, is the slightly smaller notch on the iPhone 13.
Looking ahead to the iPhone 14, some believe Apple will finally ditch the notch in favor of the hole-punch design that’s already a common feature on many high-end Android phones.
News from South Korea-based The Elec this week suggests the iPhone maker will use the hole display for the first time, though only with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
That means the regular, less expensive iPhone 14 and and a new iPhone 14 Max will stick with the notch, a distinctive cutout that made its debut in 2017 with the iPhone X — Apple’s first handset to feature an edge-to-edge display.
The Elec’s claims chime with reports from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who twice this year has said Apple will incorporate the hole-punch design into the iPhone 14’s more expensive models.
The expected design change suggests Apple has found a way to retain the reliability of its Face ID feature, with the smarts that power it able to be hidden under the display.
“The key for the technology to offer an immersive full-screen experience is for the display area surrounding the hole to maintain resolution and color with other areas of the display,” The Elec said.
It’s also possible that Apple could ditch Face ID for Touch ID, as Google did when it moved from the Pixel 4 to Pixel 5, though this seems unlikely. In-display Touch ID would, however, be a welcome addition for many iPhone owners, especially as face masks prevent Face ID from working, leaving folks with little choice but to punch in their passcode every time they go to use their phone (unless they have an Apple Watch, that is).
As with all leaks and rumors, it’s impossible to know the reality until the device lands. Indeed, only last month another report suggested Apple will keep the notch for at least another year.
The iPhone 14 is still some nine months from launch, so expect plenty more speculation about the upcoming device in the meantime.