Apple could shrink this year’s iPhone “notch” thanks to a 40% to 50% smaller VCSEL chip in the Face ID sensor, Digitimes reported Friday. According to the report, the smaller die size could show up as soon as the “new iPhone and iPad devices to be rolled out later in 2021.”
The notch first made its way into the iPhone in 2017 when Apple introduced the iPhone X. The space behind the distinctive screen cutout houses the device’s top speaker, FaceTime camera and Face ID sensors. It’s a design flourish that has been seen in every subsequent iPhone with edge-to-edge display.
According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple wants to do away with the notch altogether — by debuting an under-display Face ID setup — in 2023 (however that would work!). But, for now, the company is looking for other ways of slimming down the notch. A smaller notch has been rumored for some time for the iPhone 13. And every subsequent rumor mentioning the same thing makes it seem all the more likely.
Today’s report suggests that such a move might save Apple money. That’s because cutting the size of the VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser) chip means only needing half the number of wafers. Whether those savings get passed on to customers, or just allow Apple to offer other premium features without raising the iPhone’s price, remains to be seen.
Bothered by the notch?
Personally, I’ve never been massively bothered by the iPhone notch. I noticed it for the first couple of days using the iPhone. Then I promptly forgot about it, and only think about it today when it comes to reports like this — or when Apple rivals poking fun at it. But I may well be in the minority. A report published this week suggested that a smaller notch is one of the most-anticipated features for the iPhone 13.
What are your thoughts on the iPhone notch? Does it bother you? Let us know in the comments below.