With just over a month before the iPhone 14, we’re at the point where the rumors are starting to look like surefire things thanks to the weight of the leaks. And based on the last of ice universe (opens in a new tab)the notch will truly be a thing of the past for the iPhone 14 Pro.
The Notch has been part of Apple’s iPhone line since 2017 iPhone X arrived on the scene, and it slowly became a calling card for high-end Apple devices. All iPhones except SE models have it now, it’s started appearing on MacBooks and even the next iPad Pro will have one.
But despite debuting on 2017’s flagship iPhone, it looks like the high-end 2022 models will be the first to get rid of it. Rumors swirled that the iPhone 14 Pro will ditch the notch even before the appearance of the iPhone 13but they have since solidified and the consensus is that it will be replaced by two cutouts: a pinhole camera cutout and a pill-shaped area to house all the smart Face ID technology.
Now Ice Universe – a tipster who has a pretty good record on these things – has shared what looks like an image of a screen protector (opens in a new tab) designed for iPhone 14 Pro, cutouts and all.
Those cutouts look pretty familiar now, but it’s still weird to see them in screen protector form: two cutouts to allow the camera setup to work. They’re quite large (although they’ll presumably appear slightly smaller on the iPhone 14 Pro Max due to their scale) and might actually prove more divisive than the notch, which at least has familiarity on its side. at this stage.
Worse than the notch?
In fact, the new pill and puncture are considerably more troublesome than high-end Android handset solutions. Some of this is beyond Apple’s control – Android devices don’t have to make room for complicated FaceID technology, so they can usually get away with just one circle of hole-punch to house the camera.
But it’s also true to say that Android handset makers have also explored some really innovative ways to hide the front-facing lens. Manufacturers have experimented place cameras in complicated pop-up mechanisms inside phonesor even hiding them in plain sight under the screens.
But both of these approaches have their drawbacks. Pop-up mechanisms not only include an extra mechanical element to break or fill with dust, but tend to add weight to handsets. Meanwhile, under-display cameras – like the selfie camera found on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 internal panel — suffer in terms of image quality.
It would be surprising if Apple hadn’t considered such approaches, knowing the notch’s unpopularity, but the company is also aware that its brand image is so strong that it can, to some extent, shape what is fashionable. The notch was, after all, imitated by other high-end phone makers in the wake of the iPhone X, and AirPods — once dismissed as too weird looking to catch (opens in a new tab) — are now ubiquitous and much imitated.
As the pill and punch-hole layout is meant to be unique to the iPhone 14 Pro, it can also become iconic in its own way – even if in practical and aesthetic terms it’s less appealing than the other options on the table.
We hope to see it for ourselves before too long, with mid-September looking like the most likely date for Apple’s next event. Keep up to date with all the latest news in our full iPhone 14 rumor mill.