While the rest of the smartphone industry strives to create bezel-less, notchless, full-screen handsets, Apple retained the hefty notch that has graced all iPhones since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017. How would the iPhone need to be redesigned to shrink the cleft to follow suit with the rest of the market?
On a mission to reduce or even omit the screen-obscuring display notch conventionally used to house the front camera and various sensors including a facial recognition sensor, Samsung, Huawei, and Oppo have all launched smartphones with hole-punch style notches, pop-up lenses, or slide-out cameras. What does Apple still use the notch for, and how have other manufacturers found an alternative location for those components?
On all three of the new models -- the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max -- the notch contains the front camera, a stereo speaker, and Face ID sensors.
Samsung shrunk this obstruction by relocating some of these parts. In fact, the only component within the hole-punch notch is the front camera. The stereo speaker has been moved to the top edge of the device, and the facial recognition sensors are built right into the selfie cam.
At this point, other industry leaders are reserving notches styled like Apple's trademark one for mid-range phones or even low-end devices. The Moto G7, Xiaomi Mi 9, and OnePlus 7 are all mid-range handsets that feature tear-drop shaped notches -- which are about one quarter the size of the Apple notch.
The fact that Apple continues to use such a large notch is an unexplained design choice albeit being recognizable. However, rumor has it that the next generation of iPhones will see a serious redesign similar to what the company did when they transitioned from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone X.