With the iPhone 13
will be preparing its iOS aficionado army for the day when that design abomination called the notch will go the way of the Dodo in about two year's time, reportedly with the iPhone 15
How exactly? By shrinking the top bezel cutout, and, thanks to an often credible Apple tipster LeaksApplePro
, we now got another confirmation exactly how much smaller will the iPhone 13 notch be when it gets released September 24
The iPhone 13 to launch with a 25% smaller notch
Just as previously rumored about the iPhone 13 Pro
, the iPhone 13 will have а notch that is 0.99" (26mm) in width, instead of the current 1.38" (35mm) that Apple has been using to house the Face ID components and earpiece since the OG iPhone X.
That's a reduction of over 25%, and will be making iPhone design history as it will be the first major change in the iPhone's frontal design since, well, 2017 when the first iPhone with a notch made a cameo.
Apparently, Apple has achieved this by integrating the earpiece in the top bezel, like a normal phone maker, and then housing the four major Face ID components - the infrared camera, flood illuminator, selfie snapper, and dot projector - underneath it.
That left plenty of empty space in the middle where the earpiece and mic used to sit, so Apple simply clustered the Face ID kit elements closer to each other, and reduced the empty space on the sides to make the notch appear much more compact than it is now.
While those components may be miniaturized further for the iPhone 14, for now Apple's rearrangement of the Face ID kit weighs much heavier into the new smaller notch design than if it had simply employed smaller dot projector and flood illuminator.
Apple simply moved the earpiece above the Face ID system to shrink the iPhone 13 notch
On the other hand, much more of those indispensable parts of Apple's TrueDepth camera system can now be produced from a single wafer, so shrinking the VCSEL part of the Face ID technology by up to 50% will also contribute to Apple's bottom line by lowering the iPhone 13 production costs further.
The iPhone 13 specs may list a modern screen-to-body ratio for the first time
When the size of the iPhone 13 Pro notch leaked out, the report mentioned that, while it will be shrink in width by a quarter, but will be 5.35mm in height against the 5.3mm notch in the iPhone 12 Pro
, on account of the earpiece rearrangement in the top bezel frame.
Still, even as the cutout will be protruding slightly deeper into the display, that extension will be peanuts compared to the notch width shrinkage, so the effect on the iPhone 13's screen-to-body ratio will be negligible.
With a 25%+ smaller notch, though, comes the corresponding increase in screen-to-body ratio, and it will be interesting to measure the exact increase in this important metric of iPhone design. The last iPhone without a notch, the iPhone SE
2020, has the abominable 65% screen-to-body ratio, as it comes from an era of Touch ID buttons and enormous bezels. In fact, the best metric from that epoch, on the iPhone 8 Plus
, is only 67.47%.
Enter the iPhone X notch, and Apple's iPhones immediately broke the 80% screen-to-body ratio threshold, with the iPhone 12
commanding 86% screen measured from the total handset dimensions when we account for the notch. We'd wager to guess that the notch width shrink will easily push it towards the 88% screen-to-body ratio mark though the exact calculations can be done when Apple releases the iPhone 13, like we did with the original iPhone X
Unfortunately, that is still a far cry from the best Android phones in that respect, and, while the iPhone 13 will inevitably be the iPhone with the best screen-to-body ratio so far, even its shrunken notch may not allow it to beat its best Android competitors as there the metric is already nearing the 90% threshold and even piercing it upwards.