Apple may finally ditch the iPhone's most hated design element: the NOTCH

Leaked patent sketches reveal what reports claim will be the design of the 2020 iPhone and it doesn't show any sign of a notch

Love it or hate it, but the infamous notch that became popular after the iPhone X was launched sporting it, has to be one of the biggest and most popular smartphone design elements of the past couple of years. Almost every smartphone manufacturer, expect maybe Samsung and a few others starting copying the "notch" at the top of the phone where the earpiece is situated.

In the case of the iPhone X and its subsequent successor including the current iPhone 11, 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, the notch is quite practical and has a very good purpose, in that it houses not just the 12MP FaceTime selfie camera but also the various sensors and projectors needed for FaceID unlocking. However, the same cannot be said about the notches on phones from other brands, they simply wanted to look like the iPhone at best.

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An iPhone X running on iOS 11 Perzon SEO/Flickr

iPhone notch vs Other phones notches

But now, the other smartphone manufacturers mainly the likes of OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo and even Samsung seem to have transitioned to smaller water drop notches or whatever they choose to call them on their phones, pop-up selfie cameras that make way for an all-screen display, and hole-punch selfie cameras like the ones on the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S10 series. Apple seems to be perhaps the only company that still has that big ugly notch up front.

We have been wanting Apple to get rid of the notch just as it got rid of the headphone jack, but the iPhone maker insists that the notch is the only solution to house the FaceID cameras and sensors. However, that might change with the upcoming 2020 batch of iPhones, aka the iPhone 12 series.

The notch that has now become kind of symbolic of the iPhone may not make it to all the 2020 iPhone models if reports based in recently published patents and information from inside Apple's supply chain is to be believed.

Will Apple ditch the notch?

According to Dutch technology site, LetsGoDigital, which has managed to get hold of the patents and leaked data, the top-end iPhone models in 2020 will come with a notch-less display, all-screen iPhone with Touch ID making a comeback and moved under the screen and FaceID ditched comcompletely.

The patent sketches show a device that has rectangular display with square corners. It shows no of a notch or a front facing camera and no FaceID hardware. It does, however, feature a power button, volume let's and the slider button on the sides.

In-display TouchID sensor to replace FaceID?

The LetsGoDigital report claims that could be the design for the 2020 iPhone, but the leaked sketches and information feels a little out of place and leaves the question of where the front-facing selfie camera will be on the iPhone 12. The website suggests that it will either be placed under the display just like the TouchID sensors would, or will be housed inside the small bezels at the top of the display.

Recently images from a parent filed by Apple in Japan which surfaced on the internet showed an iPhone without a notch, which and speculations of an all-screen iPhone 12 started to grow.

To notch, or not to notch

There's no doubt Apple would want to get rid of the notch, but it's just not clear when Apple will do that. A lot or sources have previously suggested that Apple could house the selfie camera and the TouchID fingerprint sensor under the display of the iPhones, but it simply doesn't seem right. And even if Apple decides to go for an in-display TouchID sensor, we still doubt if it will have in-display selfie camera because the tech is still under development and won't be ready by the time the 2020 launch.

Phone makers such as Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi have teased under display selfie cameras last year and will be looking to include the tech on their upcoming flagships, but the image quality will certainly take a beating if we go by what we saw in the teasers.

Although we doubt if Apple will be doing the same, it could be that Apple may have this design in mind for at least one iPhone, may be the iPhone SE 2 but that's again a bit of a stretch since that will be a budget iPhone and we cannot expect under-display cameras on a budget device that too from Apple. However, Apple could be experimenting with in-display TouchID sensors for at least bone iPhone 12 model that could come with a smaller notch or maybe even no notch at all as suggested by the patents. But it's just too early to jump to conclusions.