Apple took extra caution during its September special event, where it launched the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, to not really talk about the notch. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker can be credited for pushing the idea of notched display to the mainstream but it went a step further to hide the notch from product pictures.
During the introduction of new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Apple used product materials that seemed to indicate a single piece of glass at the front. It seemed as if these new iPhones did not have a notch. While they do have a notch, a new patent suggests Apple may have already begun work on new display technology that would allow for edge-to-edge display design without having a notch at the top of the display.
The details regarding Apple working on new display design comes just days after it was revealed that Samsung is investing on new display technology that would eliminate the need for the notch, which has been controversial with people either liking it or hating it to the core. The patent indicates that Apple is looking at smartphone display technology that includes a small cut out.
This small cut-out, which seems similar to the one found on Essential Phone, will used to accommodate the selfie camera and other sensors needed to hide elements of the Face ID depth camera. This means Apple will be able to retain all the functionality of existing Face ID depth cameras without putting a big notch at the top of the display.
The process is said to involve a tiny drill on the display that will be capable of creating a ring-shaped incision. Once the incision is made successfully, the patent describes that the circular piece can be removed and sensors can be implemented into the hole. At the time of drilling, the selected area would be protected by a cushion-like material, thus avoiding any damage the display.
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Samsung is already working on a design that would allow for cameras and other sensors to be hidden beneath the OLED panel. This seems like the logical next step for display technology and future smartphone design and there is a possibility that Apple could skip this patent, spotted by MobielKopen, altogether. We will need to wait at least for another year to see what the Cupertino giant comes up with in September.