iPhone 12 notch is reportedly shrinking — and it's about time

iPhone 12 Pro design
(Image credit: svetapple)

The iPhone 12 could look a lot more attractive thanks to a smaller notch on the top of the display, if the latest rumors are true.  

This claim was made by Apple analyst and leaker Jon Prosser, who told Forbes that "the smaller notch is mostly confirmed". However, how much smaller the new notch would be than the current one isn't known.

Is the notch really shrinking?

Apple has used the same size notch on all Face ID-equipped iPhones, starting with the iPhone X in 2017, so a smaller one would be a welcome change. The notch can be especially distracting when watching videos and when using apps with a white background.

Android phone makers have mostly settled on a smaller punch hole for their front-facing cameras, but they are not as sophisticated as the TrueDepth sensor on the iPhone.

Previous reports have claimed that the iPhone 12's notch won't be much different. For example, a leak that shows the display of the smallest, 5.4-inch iPhone 12 reveals a notch that looks unchanged. 

Apple has almost certainly been experimenting with different sized notches while designing the iPhone 12, so it's possible that both leakers have seen different parts of Apple's design process.

Not the only iPhone 12 design change

Previous reports about the iPhone 12's design have said that Apple's new phones will be thinner than their predecessors and that they will sport flatter sides that are reminiscent of the iPhone 4 and iPad Pro. There should also be a new blue color, which could be reserved for the iPhone 12 Pro models. 

Prosser had previously told Forbes that Apple would be staggering the release of the iPhone 12 range, with the two normal iPhone 12 models (with displays measuring 5.4 inches and 6.1 inches) coming out at a different time than the two iPhone 12 Pro models, which will be 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches. 

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12: Biggest differences

There are a few differences between these two flavors of iPhone 12. The Pro models will reportedly have additional cameras (a telephoto sensor and a LiDAR depth sensor) and support both mmWave and sub-6GHz flavors of 5G.

However, the addition of a 120Hz display is now in doubt for the iPhone 12 Pros, which would have provided smoother scrolling and overall better display performance to rival the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

If you're interested in picking up an iPhone 12 at launch, you may be waiting a bit longer than normal. While most iPhones get released in September, the iPhone 12 looks like it may be launched in October, a delay brought on by various problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.