While the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are two of the best phones available today, there's one feature that even the most diehard of Apple fans would probably drop, the notch. Rumors of Apple ditching the notch have persisted basically since it debuted on the iPhone X in 2017, but they have picked up considerably over the last year.
Highly regarded Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was the latest to weigh in on the matter, tweeting that he thinks "the real full-screen iPhone will come in 2024. High-end iPhones in 2024 would adopt an under-display front camera alongside the under-display Face ID."
We've seen a few phones dabble with under-display cameras so far like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, with less than stellar results, but it would be big if Apple found a way to integrate its Face ID and front-facing camera while maintaining its top-notch selfie quality.
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Kuo went on to say that "A low-light condition is detrimental to front camera quality, and ISP & algorithm are critical for quality improvements." This gets to one issue with the under-display cameras we've seen so far, they just don't hold a candle to modern front-facing cameras. That's compounded for Apple which not only has a reputation for the best selfie camera on the market but also relies on its front-facing camera tech for Face ID. That's before you get to the issue that under-display cameras currently are still visible below the display.
This tweet was Kuo doubling down on his previous tweet which stated "iPhones would support under-display fingerprint sensing/Touch ID in 2023 at the earliest. But the latest survey indicates new iPhones in 2023 & 2024 may not adopt under-display Touch ID. Face ID with a mask on iPhone is already a great biometrics solution." This also aligns with statements made by display analyst Ross Young who recently said under-display cameras and Face ID were coming to iPhone 16.
Kuo, for his part, recently expressed that Apple isn't pressing to adopt an all-screen, notch-less design sooner due to marketing concerns rather than technical limitations. According to Kuo, the upcoming iPhone 14 will most likely drop the notch and be replaced by a hole-punch camera, similar to what you find on most Android flagships.
The iPhones are the most powerful smartphones in the game, with arguably the best camera system to date. However, Android phones offer some advantages with vastly more powerful telephoto lenses and the aforementioned hole-punch camera design for a superior screen-to-body ratio. If you look at phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the OnePlus 10 Pro, they already have some of these design elements that Apple hopes to introduce later this year and will likely beat Apple to the punch with full-screen devices as well.