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Apple's Next iPhone May Have a Much Smaller Notch

Apple’s facial ID electronics supplier, AMS, yesterday (Jan. 7) announced a new sensor technology that may help shrink the iPhone’s display notch as soon as this fall.

A rendering of the new AMS sensor in action. Credit: AMS

(Image credit: A rendering of the new AMS sensor in action. Credit: AMS)

This technology — first noticed by MacRumors — can capture light right through an OLED panel. AMS’ current sensors capture depth information for Face ID and Animojis. Right now AMS sensors are placed in iPhone screen notches because they require an unobstructed point of view.

But the Austrian company’s new sensors, which work in both the visible and the infrared parts of the light spectrum, can “see” straight through an OLED panel, thanks to improved light sensitivity and algorithms that compensate for the display’s interference.

As AMS Senior Marketing Manager David Moon said in the company’s announcement, the new TCS3701 sensor package will let phone makers like Apple reduce the notch area.

Moon says the manufacturers could even completely eliminate the notch — but that would only be possible on the iPhone if Apple decided to kill the selfie camera sensor, which seems unlikely.

In other words, we may get a teardrop notch in the next iPhone — which may not be enough to compensate for the rumored ugly camera patch on its back.