The notch has been a key part of the iPhone’s design since the launch of the iPhone X back in 2017. But it may not be sticking around for much longer, with a rumor claiming the iPhone 13 will skip the notch entirely.
But this news could be bittersweet. While Face ID will still be a key feature on the upcoming iPhone, Apple is said to be increasing the size of its bezel to help hide the necessary cameras and sensors.
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This news comes from @MauriQHD (opens in new tab) on Twitter, who claims that Apple has a prototype iPhone 13 that dropped the display notch by thickening the bezels on all four sides of the phone. Unfortunately, the design may not have been finalized, so there's also a chance we might not see it arrive until the iPhone 14 launch next year.
iPhone 13there´s a prototype with no notch at all,but -a bit- bigger bezels,meaning the 4 sides are equally biggeror maybe iPhone 14? 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/xGROzS6BMEJanuary 28, 2021
The iPhone’s notch is important because Face ID needs lots of sensors to operate, and those sensors need to have a place to live. Android phones lack the sophisticated biometric sensors tech, so can make do with smaller punch-hole selfie cameras.
We’ve already heard talk of Apple reducing the size of the notch, though this is the first time we’ve heard about it going away entirely, well sort of. Thickening the bezels to help hide the notch is little more than a trick since the notch hasn’t actually gone anywhere; you’ve just lost the two clips of screen space on either side.
Of course, Apple’s obsession with thinness and design aesthetics suggests that it would ensure to keep the iPhone 13's bezel as minimal as it can. If this rumor comes to fruition, we can expect the notch to have shrunk quite a bit if it's basically absorbed by a display bezel.
A larger bezel should not lead to reduced screen space, however. We’ve already heard that the iPhone 13 could end up being 0.26mm larger than the iPhone 12. Not only would that add some extra room for internal components (like a larger battery) it also means Apple could have enough space to bulk up the bezel and hide the notch, without trimming away at the screen itself.
Of course, if you don’t like Face ID, then rumors have long claimed that Apple will be bringing back Touch ID in the form of an under-display fingerprint sensor. We’ve also heard talk of the phone including a 1TB storage option, Wi-Fi 6e, a “folded-lens” camera that offers longer optical zoom, and possibly even a LiDAR sensor on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini.
The iPhone 13 is shaping up to be a significantly different kind of device than the iPhone 12. And that has us very excited to see what Apple has planned for us this Fall.