Huawei had notches years before iPhone X made them cool

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iPhone X notch
Apple probably wasn’t first to think of the notch.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Huawei was developing smartphones with notches in their displays years before iPhone X made them cool, it claims.

The Chinese company ultimately decided not to release one because it was “too conservative and cautious” at the time — but now that Apple uses notches, it’s okay.

The iPhone X’s notch was universally mocked by Android fans (and some iPhone fans, too) when it was unveiled last September. Fast forward seven months and notches can be found in phones from Asus, LG, and Huawei — with more coming later this year.

Apple may not have been first to develop a handset with a notch in pursuit of slimmer bezels, however. The Essential Phone launched with a notch four months before iPhone X, and Huawei claims it was working on notched displays “three to four years ago.”

Huawei considered notches years ago

Li Changzhu, head of Huawei’s mobile chief, told Forbes that the company scrapped the idea because it was too cautious at the time. Li also noted that consumers, “especially those in China, like symmetry, and the notch is not perfect in Chinese culture.”

Li commended Apple’s “courage” for releasing the iPhone X with a notch, which has subsequently made notches acceptable. He says Huawei missed its chance to pioneer the design, but it’s unlikely it would have been as well-received before the iPhone popularized it.

Li insists Huawei is now working at being bolder and pushing boundaries. It has demonstrated this with the recent release of the P20 and the Honor 10, which are available in unique colors with beautiful gradiants that make them unlike other smartphones.