Will Apple kill the notch in 2020? Next year's iPhones may all be redesigned around OLED displays

Will Apple kill the notch in 2020? Next year's iPhones may all be redesigned around OLED displays
Apple's iPhones will undertake a redesign next year, tip industry sources today, and they also claim that the team from Cupertino will ditch LCD displays for a complete switch to OLEDs in 2020.

The display diagonals are expected to stay 5.8-inch, 6.06-inch, and 6.4-inch but the flexible OLEDs will be weaved into a new external look. That's in contrast to this year when the changes are mainly expected to be under the hood, the iPhone XR successor is expected to still carry an LCD screen, and the only real design change might stem from new camera configurations.

The tip about a redesigned iPhone 2020 jibes with the rumor that Apple may ditch the notch for something else completely then, which would be rather ironic, considering how many other manufacturers started chasing the design with top bezel protrusion. 

Apple will reportedly have diversified its OLED display suppliers by next year, and, while it is planning to use such panels in all three 2020 iPhones, it has also given proof of interest for the above-mentioned display diagonals to three companies.

First in line is, of course, Samsung, but LG Display and the Chinese from BOE will also be making panels for next year's iPhones, it appears, to the chagrin of JDI and LG that supply the current iPhone XR panel. The insiders also claim that the more expensive 5.8" and 6.4" iPhones next year will have the touch functionality integrated into the panel itself, while the 6.1" model will sport an OLED with an extra touch layer which is cheaper to produce and thus easier to source in mass quantities.

Apple had initial troubles producing the Face ID modules for the iPhone X due to the precision needed for certain parts, but now all of this is behind it, and there have even been reports that its suppliers have managed to shrink the kit further. 

In addition, Apple has already patented several ways it might go about without a notch. One includes holes in the display itself, and another a matrix underneath that will let the sensor emitters pass between the pixels themselves. If Finisar and other TrueDepth camera sensor suppliers have managed to make the whole setup even smaller, it would explain why Apple may have decided to improve the screen-to-body ratio further, as the current state of its "all-screen" efforts clashes with its minimalist design heritage pretty obviously. 

Next year, the notch may shrink to even out with the frame, and we could even see an in-display finger scanner added, making the 2020 iPhone the ultimate "all-screen" biometry machine. As for the switch from LCD to OLED for the iPhone XR, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Japan Display has already set a contingency plan for the times it will lose Apple as a big customer. It has even lined up new investors to scoop up some stake in its production, hoping to weather the storm better when Apple ceases ordering LCD screens from it.

If you remember, the LCD iPhone XR indeed arrived much later than the OLED models. The culprit behind this delay was yield issues for the "Liquid Retina" display, though the analysts differed in the exact reasoning. At first, the culprit was pegged as light bleeding from the LCD display around the notch, yet the supply chain sources in the later report said there was another bottleneck. 

The faux 3D Touch that Apple's Phil Schiller said works just like the real thing during the XR's keynote, may had proved problematic to create en masse as well, although the real thing has apparently been incorporated on the more expensive OLED iPhones without problems already. At this point, it's anyone's guess what were the real reasons behind the XR's delay, but it is obviously easier to implement any notches or piercings on a flexible OLED, and that's exactly what the XR may carry next year, too.

FEATURED VIDEO

25 Comments

1. User123456789

Posts: 671; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Design around the screen ... That is exactly what other do.

2. IT-Engineer

Posts: 526; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Hushhhh, they don't know that!

28. sgodsell

Posts: 7032; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

"Will Apple kill the notch in 2020?" Apple has setup their improvement cycle around what Android and the other OEMs make first. Then Apple will show it off to their followers, and tell them our new tech, or new software. That is what Apple resorts to nowadays.

3. eausa

Posts: 86; Member since: Feb 28, 2019

I hate notches and pills. But the Apple one is seriously ugly. Loving my Note 9!

4. monoke

Posts: 1151; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Hope they do. Just so all these oems can finally move on from this design abomination.

29. sgodsell

Posts: 7032; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

A lot of the OEMs still make smartphones without notches. Clearly you haven't been looking.

5. drunkenjay

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

they can't do it unless Samsung makes the workout for the displays. It's just a waiting game for them.

6. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

iPhones DO NOT HAVE NOTCHES! The top side of the iOS was hosting indicators (battery, cellular reception, wifi etc) that have been moved up, inside 2 ears, making use of the space next to the Face ID/front camera/speaker system.

8. IT-Engineer

Posts: 526; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

iPhones DO NOT HAVE NOTCHES! What do you mean? You lost me there! Cause if you seriously mean the iPhone X/XS do not have a notch, I think you might also be one of those flat Earth believers!

9. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I mean the display of the iPhone does not have an indentation, it has been elongated around the center part and Apple moved the indicators inside the new created ears. So the display of the iPhone does not have a notch - which is a cutout, something that is missing - it has ears - which are 2 additions.

10. magnaroader

Posts: 34; Member since: Feb 25, 2016

I want what Leo is smoking.

12. Fred3

Posts: 434; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

I'm kind of scared to smoke what Leo is smoking

11. Abdbaas

Posts: 139; Member since: Apr 05, 2016

Give this guy a job at apple

16. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I make more money than an Apple employee (except for the executives, but I’m on my way).

13. wickedwilly

Posts: 640; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

As I have told you before the screen size is defined by the diagonal width. This means the potential screen area is the length x width, basic maths even for you. Any protrusion into this area reduces the screen area and affects the viewing experience. You can call it a notch, protrusion, bunny ears whatever, but it is a cutout of the potential screen area whether you like it or not, it takes away not adds. The "notch" or whatever you wish to call it, is a design compromise to accommodate front-facing features. Apple with one of the biggest and ugliest notches and lack of optimization of it, is a design failure and shows their lack of innovation and is just plain lazy.

17. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Take the Xperia display and add 2 protrusions and you’ll understand iPhone’s display. It’s not a cutout of screen area, it’s an extension that adds space (that you wouldn’t have it, if the screen would have been like the one in Xperia).

26. wickedwilly

Posts: 640; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

The iPhone is no different to any other phone. It is a rectangular shape with a large portion of the front surface area taken up by the screen. The screen size is universally defined by the diagonal width. The non-screen area is a bezel, which on the Xperia and the IP7 and 8 have huge bezels. The "notch" or whatever you want to call it is a chunk out of the screen area, not the phone area or an extension of the top bezel. No one cares about bunny ears, they want the biggest screen area on the smallest possible phone area that suits them. 100% is perfect, but add a notch and you take away from the screen area not add to it!!!!

27. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You - and all the people that think like you - have got all the notches; the rest of us - a few hundred millions - got iPhones with extensions. Is that ok?

31. wickedwilly

Posts: 640; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

There is no notch on my S9 and a cutout on my new S10+. iPhones have huge bezels or huge notches you know cutouts from the screen area. The S10e has 5.8" screen with a small cutout, the iPhone 10s has a 5.8" screen with a huge notch or you could say a 5.6" (estimate) screen with extensions. So you see for the same screen size the "notch is a cutout not an extension.

32. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Good, than there are a few hundred millions + 1 iPhones X[insert space or letter] WITHOUT notches.

23. darkkjedii

Posts: 30900; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

LMAOOOOO it’s a damn notch dude.

24. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

If Apple - or any other oem - have had a display on the entire front of the phone and it have cut it afterwards, that cut could have been called a notch. But Apple had a smaller screen which was extended with 2 protrusions and that is not a notch.

25. Tipus

Posts: 820; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Lmao! :)))

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 30900; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Notch

7. JRPG_Guy

Posts: 130; Member since: Jan 13, 2019

I'm not waiting

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.