2020 iPhone May Lose the Notch

The iPhone’s iconic notch has gained more scorn than praise over the years. Rumors abound that the 2020 iPhone will feature a more uniform screen.

By Chand Bellur

January 4, 2020 at 6:55 p.m. PDT

2020 iPhone Probably Won’t Have a Notch

The iPhone X introduced Face ID — a new biometric authentication technology. Requiring a camera and dot projector to function, Face ID necessitated a drastic change in the iPhone. Apple was forced to put a small notch on the top of the screen to house Face ID hardware components.

Critics didn’t like the notch, but no one really had any better ideas. Samsung has notch-free devices with facial recognition, however, they punch a hole in the screen. It’s unclear whether Apple will do the same or innovate.

Possible Notch-Free iPhone Designs

Rumors abound about how Apple will implement Face ID technology, without sacrificing screen area. The most prominent rumor is that they will simply copy Samsung and punch small holes in the screen.

Other speculators see Apple creating something better. Instead of a notch, Apple may create more diminutive Face ID components. The dot projector, front camera, speaker, proximity sensor and other components would be integrated into the frame. Given Apple’s obsession with creating small components, the design is possible, yet ambitious.

Another possibility involves placing the eight different components under the screen. This would be a technological challenge, involving completely new screen and sensor technologies. Software could compensate for the overlying screen graphics covering the sensors. It’s hard to imagine a quality front facing camera buried under a screen. Then again, the bar is quite low for front facing cameras.

Apple Needs 2020 iPhone to Succeed

Over the past four consecutive quarters, Apple’s profits have been shrinking. Although the iPhone maker has increased revenues, greater costs and investments have taken their toll on the bottom line.

Needless to say, Cupertino needs the next iPhone to be a game changer. It’s already expected that the next iPhone will offer 5G networking. A notch-free design will assure less sophisticated consumers that this is, indeed, a different iPhone.

Although Apple has been growing services as a way to cope with declining iPhone sales, this strategy is not enough. Devices like AirPods and the Apple Watch have dominated the wearables industry, but it’s still not enough. The iPhone transformed Apple into the most valuable corporation in the world. They’re now the second most valuable company in the world. Perhaps a new, better iPhone can restore Apple’s prestige.

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