The iPhone 13 series hasn’t been released yet, but the media is already looking at the 2022 models, which could be called iPhone 14. Indeed, while the iPhone 13 is expected to be just an improved version of the iPhone 12, theiPhone 14 could bring more radical changes.
And among those changes would be the removal of the notch. According to multiple sources, on the 2022 models, Apple would say goodbye to the notch that made its debut on the iPhone X. Instead, the firm could adopt the bubble for the front-facing camera (a design that is already widely adopted by Android smartphone makers). And Apple could finally integrate the biometric sensor into the display.
For now, all of this information is unofficial. Nevertheless, we know that Apple is really interested in technologies that would allow it to abandon the notch.
A Touch ID or Face ID under the screen?
As reported by the site 9to5Mac, the Cupertino firm has just obtained a patent that would allow it to integrate an optical fingerprint scanner under the screen of its iPhones. “For simplicity of description, many embodiments that follow refer to a construction in which an electronic device implements screen-based imaging to capture one or more images of a user’s fingerprint touching a specified region (an “imaging region” over an imaging aperture) of the electronic device’s display,” the document reportedly reads, according to 9to5Mac.
But that’s not all. The same technique could also be used to integrate a sensor for facial recognition under the screen. Thus, Apple could work on iPhones with both facial recognition and a fingerprint scanner, without having to position these sensors on a notch or a physical button.
Moreover, by developing this technology, Apple could even design a camera for selfies hidden under the screen. But it’s unlikely that Apple will be interested in this at the moment, given that this technique can affect the quality of the images.
But of course, for the time being, caution is always advised. Indeed, companies like Apple have an incredible number of patents and do not use them all.
A race against Android device makers
In any case, Apple finally seems to be interested in alternatives to the notch while some manufacturers are already thinking about a completely full-screen experience on which there is not even a bubble for the front camera. In 2020, ZTE has already released a model on which the front camera is positioned below the screen. And recently, a second model was launched by the Chinese brand.
For its part, Xiaomi announced in 2020 that it phe company says it will produce a smartphone using the same technology starting this year. The manufacturer assures nevertheless that it succeeded in developing a sensor hidden under the screen which makes it possible to have the same quality of photographs as the traditional sensors. For the moment, this model is not yet available.