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This iPhone X Feature is Bad News For Carriers

Apple's carrier partners have long been featured front and center in the company's iPhone software, but the notch at the top of its upcoming iPhone X might change that.



The notch sitting at the top-center of the iPhone 8's screen leaves no room for Apple to identify which carrier you're using with your device, according to developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who has been digging into the software over the last several days. According to the developer, whose discovery was earlier reported on by BGR, you'll need to swipe on the time on the screen to see the carrier's name listed.

For years, Apple's status bar at the top of the iPhone screen has housed all kinds of information, including time, battery life, how strong your LTE connection is, and most importantly to carriers, which network you're connected to. Since Apple hasn't allowed carriers to bundle their bloatware in the iPhone, having that identification at the top of the screen was one of the few places where carriers could stay top-of-mind with customers.

But Apple is believed to have made a design choice with the iPhone X that will allow its screen to stretch across the smartphone's face. And at the top of that screen will sit what's being called a "notch" that will house the iPhone's earpiece and front-facing camera. That notch will cut into the center of the iPhone's top status bar.

More: Big iPhone 8 Leaks Reveal Name, Colors and Features

There had been some hope that Apple would change the design of its status bar and shift it lower so it would go all the way across as in the past. But recent reports have said that Apple will use a two-sided approach with a break in the middle, leaving less real estate to display all the information it wants to show.

So, when something had to give, it turned out to be the carrier network, according to Troughton-Smith.

However, the very fact that Apple will allow you to swipe across the status bar to see more information is intriguing, and it's possible, though unconfirmed, that Apple could use that feature in other ways to give you more access to gauges and other features.

We'll ultimately find out for sure later today when Apple takes the stage at its Steve Jobs Theater. Check back at 1 p.m. ET for all the latest from Apple's big announcement.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.