Apple could use 'special coating' to hide iPhone's front-facing camera

Apple could use ‘special coating’ to hide iPhone’s front-facing camera


Apple Watch
Can Apple make the notch a little prettier?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple could use a special “pure black” coating to hide the iPhone’s front-facing camera, one analyst claims.

This would allow the lens to blend into the notch so that it is almost invisible to the eye without impacting camera performance.

Some iPhone fans would prefer it if Apple did away with the notch at the top of the iPhone’s display altogether. But it’s likely to be several years before the company can find an effective way to do that. In the meantime, Apple plans to make the notch prettier.

GF Securities analyst Jeff Pu suggests Apple will use a special coating to hide the iPhone’s front-facing in the future.

iPhone camera’s invisibility cloak

The coating would allow the iPhone’s front-facing camera to “completely disappear,” Pu explains. It would eliminate the “small spots” that are visible in the iPhone’s notch. Apple does a good job of making them difficult to see already, but they are noticeable in good light.

The special coating is being developed by Largan Precision, and Pu claims in a note to investors, shared by Economic Daily News, that one or two smartphone makers will adopt it by 2020.

Apple’s name isn’t mentioned explicitly in the note, but given that the company already has a working relationship with Largan — which supplies iPhone camera lenses — it’s feasible that Apple is one of those smartphone makers.

Eliminating the notch

It might seem like an insignificant improvement to the notch, which many consider to be an ugly design choice already. But it is the kind of improvement Apple would make in its mission to make the iPhone prettier by any means possible.

Other handset manufacturers have taken different steps to hide front-facing cameras and other sensors. Oppo’s stunning Find X has a pop-up camera that is hidden inside the phone when it’s not needed so that there is no need for a notch in its display.

It’s unlikely Apple would adopt a solution like this one because it’s not simple, and more moving parts means there’s a greater chance something could go wrong. But you can be sure the company is working on other methods of eliminating the notch entirely.