The notch or eyebrow of the iPhone is already a characteristic element of these since it was integrated into the iPhone X in 2017. And although it is true that there has been a change of notch from the iPhone 12 to the iPhone 13, the truth is that it continues to exist and many they wonder about the reasons that lead Apple to continue implementing it. And yes, it has an explanation (or several) that we will analyze in this article.
No, it is not just a question of marketing
It is clear that image in a company like Apple is important. Even the smallest detail of the devices is studied by the marketing team, so the notch is more than expected. It is a differential element with the competition that makes that as soon as you see an iPhone you can know that it is indeed an iPhone just by looking at that eyebrow. However there are reasons beyond this.
In 2017, the on-screen fingerprint recognition technology was not yet fully developed and as Apple was looking for its first “all-screen” smartphone with the iPhone X, they had to find an effective unlocking option. Integrating the sensor in a side button did not convince them and they trusted everything to Face ID. This is still to this day, with its pros and cons, the best facial recognition system on a smartphone.
This Face ID is composed of several sensors called True Depth that launch a series of infrared (and invisible) rays to the face, being able to recognize the face of the person in front of it. A meticulous system very studied by Apple and that has made the company “forced” to continue to maintain the notch so that it continues to be just as efficient.
And yes, under that black eyebrow are the aforementioned sensors, in addition to the light sensor that makes the screen turn off when, for example, you are on a phone call or listening to an audio from WhatsApp. The call speaker and the front camera are also integrated there. Putting so many sensors together and working well in such a small space is complex.
In 2021 Apple has reduced the size of this notch by 20%, making it narrower, although slightly higher. All this after a process of study and tests that have verified that the repositioning of the sensors is effective enough so that everything continues to work just as well as previous iPhones. Although we wonder if it really took Apple 4 years for this study or is it that they did not really consider it until recently.
Is it true that it will be completely phased out in 2022?
Even before the iPhone 13 was presented, there were already rumors that next year’s iPhone will eliminate this element . At least in the ‘Pro’ versions and in favor of a small hole in which to house the camera and in true Samsung style. Even Jon Prosser published a render several weeks ago with what, according to his sources, will be this new device without notch.
Now, we find it hard to believe that Apple took 4 years to reduce the notch and decided to ‘load it’ only 12 months later. It is said that they would have managed to successfully complete the Face ID tests under the screen , something of which there is no record, but which if true would still be strange. If this system were sufficiently developed, it could have been included this year. And in case there were still tests missing, why didn’t Apple keep the notch intact so that its elimination would be more impressive without intermediate steps?
These are still personal hypotheses that a server handles, although I certainly don’t think I’m the only one who thinks so. Be that as it may, we are still early days to have highly reliable leaks about upcoming Apple smartphones. Therefore, we will continue to wait to learn new information that confirms or denies this possible and definitive goodbye to the notch.