iPhone 14 rumor says the notch is not dead — and there's more bad news

iPhone 14 renders by Front Page Tech and Ian Zelbo
(Image credit: Ian Zelbo | Front Page Tech)

Update: Whether there will be an iPhone 14 notch or not, another rumor claims that we may see a hefty upgrade to the iPhone 14 Pro models. That could see the phones come with a 48MP main camera lens and 8GB of RAM.

The iPhone 13 has only just arrived, but we’re already hearing a lot of rumors about what to expect from the iPhone 14. Unfortunately, the latest rumor puts a bit of a damper on things, and shoots down the prospect of two highly-anticipated upgrades.

A new rumor from Chinese social network Weibo (via MacRumors) claims that not only will Apple retain the notched design in the iPhone 14, the phone also won’t come with under-display Touch ID. Thankfully, it’s not all bad news.

The now-deleted post comes from user @PandaIsBald, who claims that it’s “unlikely” that Apple will completely replace the notch with hole-punch cutouts. Instead they claim the iPhone 14 will continue to use a notch, albeit a much smaller one than we’ve seen so far.

As MacRumors points out, this leaker doesn't have much of a track record, but they did accurately predict that the iPad 9 would appear at the most recent Apple event

The post also claimed that the iPhone 14 would skip under-display Touch ID yet again, meaning Face ID may be the only form of biometric security available on the iPhone 14. Assuming Apple doesn’t add the feature to the power button, as it has done with the iPad Air and iPad mini 6

The iPhone 13 features a 20% smaller notch than previous iPhones, in part thanks to Apple shrinking the components used in its TrueDepth camera system — the one that powers Face ID and other similar features. 

However, we have heard tremors that Apple would finally adopt the hole-punch design on its high end 2022 iPhones. We've also seen renders (via leaker Jon Prosser) of what is alleged to be the iPhone 14 design — complete with a single hole-punch camera lens.

It’s not clear what this kind of design would mean for Face ID, which is the main reason why Apple’s notch is as large as it is. The True Depth camera is made up of several different sensors after all, and they need to go somewhere. ZTE might be working on an under-display 3D facial recognition system, but so far there’s no telling what Apple’s future plans might be.

It’s possible that Apple may adopt a hybrid strategy, opting for display cutouts for certain components, like the selfie camera lens, while keeping others in some sort of notch. As for the continued absence of Touch ID, it’s disappointing but I can’t say I’m surprised Apple is continuing to ignore it. This is assuming what @PandaIsBald said is true.

Touch ID might not be the only way to get around unlocking your phone with a mask. A previous report from Jon Prosser says that Apple is working on getting Face ID to recognize people wearing masks, but it's not clear how far along the development is. 

The thing about unverified rumors is that we don’t know what’s real and what isn’t until the device is actually announced. We’re just going to have to wait and see what Apple has in store for us once Fall 2022 rolls around.

However, should this rumor prove true, it’s going to be seriously disappointing. The under-display fingerprint scanner is pretty much a given on flagship Android phones, and notches are pretty much non-existent. 

2022 will mark five years since Apple adopted the notch and killed Touch ID on the iPhone X, and very little has changed in that time. Honestly, it’s about time Apple did more for the iPhone’s display, because simply shrinking the notch isn’t good enough.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.