iPhone 14 Pro cannot ditch the notch
There have long been speculations that Apple might remove the notch from upcoming iPhones and recent sources indicate that this is becoming more and more likely.
A recent report from Korean media outlet The Elec said that the notch will be removed from the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, but it would stay on the cheaper non-Pro versions. Contrary to popular belief, Apple may employ a hole-punch camera in its next iPhone.
The thought that Apple would remove the notch now simply strikes me as incredibly weird, no matter how much I’d love for them to do it.
The notch is one of the few ways Apple manages to separate itself from the competition because so many phones have basically an identical design and most users keep their phones in cases. Notches, no matter how out-of-date they are, are an integral element of Apple’s current design philosophy.
Apple’s insistence on maintaining the iPhone’s so-called “premium” smartphone status explains why the iPhone X took so long to arrive, and before that, we had iPhones with chunky bezels.
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With the release of the new MacBook Pro series, Apple went to great lengths to make a notch on a laptop acceptable despite the lack of Face ID. So, it’s evident that the notch is as much a design statement as a design compromise in this instance.
That a camera hole-punch would appear so out of place in 2022 is another oddity that has me scratching my head. To be fair, Android has featured hole-punch cameras since 2019 and notches that were narrower than those on the iPhone X for much longer. Even if Apple has to include Face ID technology, it’s likely they’ve discovered a means to do so if they plan on eliminating the notch in the near future.
Anything less than a camera hidden behind the display would be a major departure from what we’ve seen so far in the world of smartphones. Recent devices such as the Galaxy Fold 3 have gotten better at hiding the presence of a selfie camera, however, the implementation still remains flawed.
In theory, Apple may try to differentiate a camera cutout in various ways. Some have speculated that Face ID would fit in a pill-shaped cutout. If it had a unique design like that, it may stick out a little more, but it’s been done before on Android phones, so anyone could easily mimic it.
So in a way, the iPhone notch is unique in that only Apple could potentially get away with using it. My guess is that whatever Apple replaces the notch with isn’t going to be a standard circular camera cutout.
Rumours of the notch’s demise are considerably overstated until real hardware renders and photographs are released, but until then, let us consider them exaggerated.