We’ve got to wait years for the killer iPhone upgrade I really want

iphone 15 ultra concept video
(Image credit: 4RMD/YouTube)

If you were hoping for an iPhone that’s all-screen and no notch (or, Dynamic Island), then you could be waiting for a while, 

That’s because an under-display version of Face ID isn’t predicted to arrive until 2025 or later, according to display analyst Ross Young. The screen tech tipster noted sensor issues are the reason why Apple can’t give its phones an uninterrupted display.

If Young’s prediction is on the money, we’ll have had some eight years of notch or Dynamic Island-style displays. Arguably, that would be a shame as we have come to rely on Apple to be ahead of the curve when using tech that can enhance a device’s aesthetics; whatever you think of the notch or Dynamic Island, it’s hard to see them as lovely bits of industrial design.

That’s not to say Apple would be the first to all-display phones, as the OnePlus 7 Pro in 2019 presented users with a large uninterrupted screen, thanks to a pop-up camera. This approach was rather neat, but never really made it to other phones. Even the excellent Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra still relies on a small front-facing camera cutout.

What about under-display Touch ID?

Under-display Touch ID could remove the need for unobstructed camera sensors, and Apple has a patent for its take on the type of fingerprint sensor you can find on the best Android phones. But it has yet to act on that patent, and it would also mean losing the rather slick yet secure Face ID tech that many iPhone users have become accustomed to.

Whatever you think of the notch or Dynamic Island, it’s hard to see them as lovely bits of industrial design.

Today's under-display cameras aren’t quite advanced enough to deliver high-quality photos or video, especially in comparison to the excellent results the likes of the iPhone 14 Pro deliver. So there's an argument that keeping Face ID and the iPhone’s selfie camera above the display is the better option.

And ultimately, it’s relatively easy to get accustomed to such cutouts, especially when they can be used to deliver better functionality and options, as is the case with the Dynamic Island..

Nevertheless, two to three years can be a long time in the technology world, and we rather hope that come the iPhone 17 or 18, we’ll see some very compelling phone tech from the folks at Cupertino. In the meantime, we have the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to look forward to come the fall.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.