Apple could drop the notch and Face ID on the iPhone as soon as next year

Apple could drop the notch and Face ID on the iPhone as soon as next year
The Apple iPhone X, first released in 2017, introduced iPhone users to the "notch" and Face ID. According to LetsGo Digital (via TechRadar) illustrations from an Apple patent application and whispers from the supply chain both indicate that the top-of-the-line 2020 iPhone models could phase out Face ID. The report says that Apple will replace the secure facial recognition system with an under-display fingerprint scanner or a biometric sensor located on the side of the phone (like the Samsung Galaxy S10e).

Apple recently filed a patent application in Japan dated December 23rd that included illustrations showing a notch-free iPhone. Besides having a Touch ID fingerprint scanner under the display, the TrueDepth Camera would also be moved there as well. This would be the layout for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max only. The other 2020 iPhone models, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Plus, would continue to feature a notch containing the True Depth Camera and the sensors for Face ID. Having multiple designs for the same year is not foreign to Apple. In 2017, it introduced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus with the "old-style" Touch ID home button and the iPhone X which featured the notch, Face ID (replacing Touch ID) and the edge-to-edge display.

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro models could be notchless with an under-display fingerprint scanner


The December 23rd patent application also reveals that the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will have a rectangular screen inside a rounded case. This is what all models looked like until the iPhone X was launched; the latter features a rounded display inside a rounded case and this look has been employed on both the 2018 and 2019 iPhone models.


The use of an under-display camera on the 2020 high-end models would help Apple catch up with some of the innovative Chinese phone manufacturers. This summer, both Oppo and Xiaomi showed off such technology and the first phones to feature it will be unveiled at MWC 2020 at Barcelona in February.

Well regarded TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to release five iPhone models next year (which, by the way, starts tomorrow). These include the iPhone 9, a budget-priced 4.7-inch iPhone that copies the design of the iPhone 8 and should be equipped with the current A13 Bionic chipset and a bit more memory. This model could be launched during the first quarter of 2020.

Next September, Kuo sees Apple releasing four handsets including the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Plus. These two phones will be the successors to the iPhone 11; the iPhone 12 will carry a 5.4-inch display while the iPhone 12 Plus will feature a larger screen of an undetermined size. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will sport 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch OLED panels respectively and will add a Time of Flight sensor to the rear camera module. And if today's report is right, those two phones will chuck Face ID and the notch.

If Apple decides to remove Face ID from the iPhone 12 Pro models, it still might be able to offer a secure facial recognition system by using the Time of Flight (ToF) sensor that should be added to the higher-priced units. ToF sensors bounce infrared beams off of a subject and measure how long they take to return to the phone. With this data, the iPhone can calculate more accurate depth information which can be used to enhance AR functionality and produce a more natural bokeh blur on portraits. The technology can also create 3D maps of a user's face similar to the structured light method employed by Face ID. In fact, back in November 2017 there was talk about Apple using a ToF sensor to offer a rear-facing Face ID.

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38 Comments

1. shield

Posts: 887; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Ugly patent :D

2. DolmioMan

Posts: 348; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

As all patents are.

3. User123456789

Posts: 1323; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Much better ....

38. Darckent

Posts: 99; Member since: Sep 17, 2016

I remember phone arena stating face I'd was best which is why apple ditched the finger print scanner lol keys see what phonearena excuse will be now... This site is a joke

41. Phullofphil

Posts: 1843; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

It is better and go some where else other people enjoy it

4. thxultra

Posts: 474; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Hate in display fingerprint scanners. The one I had on the note 10 was awful. Hoping this isn't true. Want to get a Iphone next year but if they drop face id will be a deal breaker for me unless they have something else that works well. Fingerprint scanners also don't work good when you are working out and sweat.

32. Solarius

Posts: 16; Member since: May 24, 2019

You dont try on oneplus 7 t pro or last Xiaomi smartphone , it's fast then note 10

42. Phullofphil

Posts: 1843; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

If apple does it it will work well

5. maherk

Posts: 7049; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

That's not what Midan and apple-rules have been telling us for the past year or so, they swore that faceID is the way to go and Apple will never go back to fingerprint scanners.

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

They sure did lol.

9. Vancetastic

Posts: 1847; Member since: May 17, 2017

I was wondering if someone would bring that up....

12. lyndon420

Posts: 6914; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Well then... apparently their opinions don't have much weight or creditability to them. lol But the phones haven't been released yet, so speculation is just that...

16. mackan84

Posts: 679; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

”... offer a secure facial recognition system by using the Time of Flight (ToF) sensor...” From this article.

23. maherk

Posts: 7049; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

That's like every other face unlock found on dozens of Android phones. We are talking about faceID.

44. midan

Posts: 3206; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

What are you talking about? isn't those dozens use just a front cam? Samsung just added 3D face scan to their galaxy S10 5G ToF front cam. The Galaxy S10 5G finally has 3D face unlock likeiPhoneshttps://www.androidcentral.com/galaxy-s10-5g-finally-has-3d-face-unlock-iphones Based on google FRONT ToF camera is very rare thing in smartphones LG G8 Thin Q for example have one, maybe you are mixing things? By the way Face ID is just a brand name :)

47. Topspliff

Posts: 40; Member since: Sep 21, 2013

I'm still running the Note 8 which has face ID it also has Iris recognition which works really well, so it's not just the latest Samsung phones, my actual preference is Bluetooth unlock, I have a cheap fitness tracker on my wrist, if my phone is next to me it's always unlocked and ready to use, if I walk away from my desk, my phone locks instantly, what could be easier!

19. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 650; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

LOOOOL

26. midan

Posts: 3206; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Face ID isn’t going anywhere. People already overthinking this patent, It’s a patent for USER INTERFACE, not for DEVICE DESIGN. It’s even explained in source. ”Partial design” ” Explanation of the design] The part other than the part shown by the broken line is the part for which the design registration is to be received as a partial design. The dashed-dotted line is a line indicating only the boundary between the part to be registered as a partial design and the other part, and the part surrounded by the dashed-dotted line is other than the part to be registered as a partial design. The rear view, right side view, and bottom view are omitted because the portion for which design registration is to be received does not appear.” ” it seems Apple is only filing for this display’s patent with everything surrounding the display provided as reference.” REFERENCE Seriously why would Apple who always try to hide everything till the release suddenly gives away their upcoming design almost a year earlier? :D Especially when this is about user interface patent. People need to use their brains more..

6. Guseinguliev

Posts: 145; Member since: Mar 04, 2019

this is most likely fake news, face id is the most convenient unlock smartphone. I always had and have android smartphones, but when I went through the iPhone xc for a month, I definitely realized that face id is much better

27. midan

Posts: 3206; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

” this is most likely fake news” It is, people don’t even understand what the actual data is saying, It’s a patent for user interface, the design we see is a reference design, not any real design.

36. Vokilam

Posts: 1437; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Face ID is what sold me on an iPhone over Samsung 2 years ago. Forcetouch and haptic was also fantastic and straightforward. I hate that Apple took that away. Stuck with my iPX for another year because no 3D Touch.

8. Rocket

Posts: 729; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

The most convenient place for the FP scanner is the power button, that's just my 2 cents.

10. Wazupmrg

Posts: 210; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

So, you mean, catch up to everyone else?

11. Derekjeter

Posts: 1572; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Uh-oh. So this means all these Apple freaks who swore by Face ID were wrong???

18. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 650; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

YEP lol

28. midan

Posts: 3206; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

No this article is wrong. we are not looking real iPhone design, It’s just a reference design for user interface patent. Every data about lack of face ID or underscreen front camera are just silly speculation based on the reference design.

37. Vokilam

Posts: 1437; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

So when I say I enjoy Face ID way way more than fp sensors - I was wrong? Do you want to feed me the rest of my opinions. Idiot!

39. Vancetastic

Posts: 1847; Member since: May 17, 2017

Yes, you are wrong. Contrary opinions are simply not allowed here, you FPS hater.

48. Vokilam

Posts: 1437; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

LoL. Dang.

13. Vokilam

Posts: 1437; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I love Face ID - this would be horrible!!!

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