Currently, Dynamic Island — the clever expandable UI that makes the new pill-shaped cutout look desirable rather than odd — is exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The regular iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus stick with the tried and tested notch that has been a fixture of Apple’s handsets since 2017.
But that could change next year. Just as the notch was exclusive to the iPhone X when it arrived with the iPhone 8 before it filtered down to all models the following year, it sounds like all versions of the iPhone 15 will feature Dynamic Island — and therefore the pill-shaped cutout.
That’s according to the display analyst Ross Young, who was asked about the prospects of Dynamic Island being universal said on Twitter (opens in new tab). “Yes, Dynamic Island expected on standard models on the 15,” he replied.
But that doesn’t mean you can expect the iPhone 15 to finally match the Pro models in the screen stakes. “Still not expecting 120Hz/LTPO on standard models as supply chain can’t support it,” Young added.
Yes, Dynamic Island expected on standard models on the 15. Still not expecting 120Hz/LTPO on standard models as supply chain can’t support it.September 18, 2022
That’s disappointing, but not unexpected. While relocating the notch doesn’t have too much cost associated with it, given all the UI work has already been introduced in iOS 16, upgrading the screen to a 120Hz panel would either hit Apple’s bottom line, or require a price increase on the basic models to compensate.
Even if Apple were happy for the latter, it would make little sense for the company to do so. With the iPhone 14 family, Apple has really emphasized the differences between Pro and non-Pro with a substantial camera upgrade and the first-ever separation in raw processing power. The 120Hz display — or ProMotion as Apple brands it — is an important part of this up-sell strategy as it provides much smoother day-to-day interactions and is the secret behind the always-on display, brand new to the iPhone 14 Pro.
But Apple certainly needs something to ensure the standard model doesn’t slide into irrelevance. This generation’s standard models are apparently showing weak order numbers so far, and as much as Apple would prefer everyone to buy a Pro, it doesn’t want to lock out those that can’t afford it. Perhaps the introduction of Dynamic Island — alongside the belated upgrade to the A16 chip — will be enough to see the standard iPhone bounce back in 2023.