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The notch is here to stay on the iPhone 14 — here’s why


It’s time for a fresh take on the cutout, according to my opinion.

In the previous several days, ever since hearing rumours about the iPhone 14 possibly sporting the ‘pill and punch’ design, I’ve been thinking a lot about the notch.

Instead of going with the “pill and punch” design, I’m talking about Apple ditching the notch completely. That rumour has been around for a while, since since the iPhone X debuted with the notch in 2017.


Yesterday, I wrote on this subject, but I’ve been thinking about it since, and I’ve come up with an additional reason why the notch is here to stay.

Face ID relies on sensors and cameras, and Apple needs a location to keep them all. Taking away that small notch at the top of its devices makes no sense.

Keep in mind, however, that the notch and other things that obstruct the smoothness of smartphones’ screens are what I’m really after. Having a notch or hole in a phone’s screen is a necessary evil, but I can’t wait till the year when it’s considered odd to have one.


In 2022, I don’t see that occurring at all. There’s a chance I’m mistaken. It is possible that the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro will feature the notch, while the iPhone 14 Max may have something else. It’s possible that Apple may rewrite its own design manual.

As someone who has covered every iPhone introduction since the 3G, I can say with confidence that the notch will be here to stay.

A vital notch

Anything that Apple does is done out of necessity. When the iPhone was first released, you couldn’t copy and paste data across applications. For many years, it lacked a high-quality camera.


When I tested the battery life of the iPhone 13 series, I was surprised that Apple hadn’t made a big deal out of this large gain in battery life in the iPhone 13 introduction.

The IR emitter for Face ID and the front-facing camera are both housed in the notch, which is an important component of the iPhone.

Face ID requires larger sensors than those found in most Android phones, therefore Apple had no choice but to make the iPhone X’s sensors larger in order to include them in the chassis.


I’m not seeing technology on other phones that might replace the notch, and I don’t expect to see it very soon.

The alternative to the notch is unappetizing

Okay, I admit it. I lied right away. As far as I can think of, I’ve heard a lot about it, but I don’t believe it’s going to happen.

(Image credit: Apple)

It’s not uncommon to see newer phones with a punch-hole or pill-shaped aperture that provide a little additional screen space on the sides.


It’s hard to see how they’re any better than the notch

It is also important to note that the design of these two different-sized holes is inherently unbalanced. For a firm that is so preoccupied with design (did you know that the edge of the chairs at new Apple shops have the same curve as iPhone 11?), I can’t understand why they’d put anything so awful on there.

Surely the iPhone won’t look like this? (Image credit: Ark Click/Weibo)

Even if they go with the pop-up sensor, Apple might fail and not allow for the seamless reading of alerts where you simply hover your face over, which is an extremely improbable feature considering that it’s a fan-favorite.

Face ID is here to stay

The home button won’t be returning to the iPhone, since it’s reserved for the iPhone SE line. This is a big deal (and there are strong, strong rumours that the iPhone SE 3 will keep that design).


So, the front-facing camera is your only choice if you want to do away with the sensors required for Face ID? Inaccurate and insecure. We can rule it out.

As a result, the only alternative is to integrate a fingerprint scanner onto the display. Now, this is a viable idea: Apple has the resources to pull it off. Despite the fact that companies like Samsung have done an excellent job implementing it on devices like the S22 Ultra, the technology is still prone to errors in implementation, as this article on Google’s on-screen scanner tragically demonstrates.

As we’ll see, it’s very improbable that Apple would abandon Face ID in favour of a newer, more advanced form of biometric authentication.


In the meanwhile, we don’t have the’real’ technology

The ultimate aim is, of course, the genuine “all display” iPhone. It’s a device that doesn’t obstruct the screen in any way, and where sensors are present but concealed.

Moving the earpiece and sensors to the frame or placing them beneath the display are your only viable options.

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 fingerprint scanner (Image credit: Future)

Android phones have been doing this for a long time now, and the ZTE Axon 30 is a fantastic example of one that performs an excellent job at taking selfies without a visible front camera.


Even saying “very excellent” isn’t good enough for Apple, which is obsessed with promoting its camera capabilities at all costs. Face ID will likely be slower and/or less accurate due to the sensors being partially covered by the camera located beneath the display.

Apple’s image processing can only do its thing if screen technology improves to allow in enough light, and IR sensors for security can be downsized enough to sit in the frame… but we’re not there yet..

People don’t mind the notch since it’s legendary

You can see three iPhones in my local proximity that have the cut-out screen section at the top, and I’m typing down some thoughts about the notch and whether or not it will persist.


Truth be said, although Apple’s notch may not be a perfect answer, the company has embraced it, and consumers aren’t too concerned. There are reports that the iPhone 13 has sold about 40 million units, which suggests that the problem of the notch isn’t a big deal to consumers.

However, this does not necessarily mean that people really enjoy the notch, since it remains something unattractive and obtrusive, but Reddit’s r/apple thread helps explain the sentiment:

There’s nothing I don’t like about it.” It’s ignored by my head… My nose is always visible to my eyes, but my brain ignores it.”


Simply said, it’s lost its impact. An even more straightforward explanation comes from a forum poster who says this:

It’s true that [Apple] did their best to incorporate [the notch] into the design. This “design abnormality” has been used for their branding, and it has a unique “icon” translation. Yes, it isn’t always obnoxious or disfiguring.

“But. It’s not a feature at all. …a compromise” in the design


The notch has been embraced by Apple, as seen by this reference. Since then, it has gone from being an eyesore to a symbol.

When the notch was first introduced, it was meant to be an afterthought. iPhones are readily recognised when they see an iPhone logo with a cutout.

If Apple had not gone so far with the idea, it would not have been able to include it in its MacBook Pro last year, even if it plainly doesn’t when compared to several competitors who have not done the same thing.


So, it seems that the iPhone 14 will still have a notch. I don’t see how Apple could abandon it.

Even though many wanted it back then (and still do), I couldn’t imagine the company would do away with the headphone port on the iPhone 7. Although I’m sitting next to someone who has a Lightning-to-headphone-jack converter plugged in, Apple hasn’t budge in its shrugging shoulders at the pleas for its return.

Maybe I’ll be sitting here in September talking about how Apple has discovered a way to stack the pill and punch design ‘elegantly’ in the centre of its screen.


Alternatively, it might be that it has fully discarded the notch and spent just a small part of its huge R&D expenditure on finding out how to do so.

Even while the notch is 7 percent lower and somewhat higher this year, it may still be enough to keep iPhone sales up and upgrade rates up for another year.

And if you’re not bothered, the iPhone 13 could be the best option. Waiting until August to get the best price on the iPhone 14 is too long; have a look at the current pricing and see if you can get a better offer now. Source


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