In the Android world, smartphone makers have long moved away from traditional notches to punch-hole cutouts. Some, like ZTE, Xiaomi, and now Samsung, have even jumped on under-display cameras, sometimes called under-panel sensors or under-screen cameras. Apple, however, has so far remained a loyal bucket notch user, but that might be changing soon. The iPhone 14 could very well see the first time Apple switches to an under-display Face ID implementation, but that doesn’t mean the camera will actually be hidden behind the display as well.
Smartphone makers have always dreamed of giving users as much screen space as possible, but the front-facing camera has always gotten in their way. Various solutions have been tested, from notches to popup cameras, but the ideal has been to actually hide that camera and all other front-facing sensors completely. Ideal but not yet practical, as proven by current implementations of these under-display cameras.
Apple has never been one to implement something half-baked, so we’re unlikely to see it dive into under-display cameras even next year. It might, however, move away from that notch in favor of hiding the Face ID sensors beneath the screen. According to display supply chain consultant Ross Young, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models have a very high chance of implementing an under-display Face ID next year.
To be clear, the camera won’t be under the display, and Apple is most likely to use a punch-hole cutout for that image sensor. What will be hidden beneath the screen are the other Face ID components that usually take up space on the notch, namely the dot projector, flood illuminator, and infrared camera. That said, Young does warn that it isn’t a final feature for the iPhone 14 next year but that it’s easier to pull off than an under-display camera.
Young’s iPhone 14 feature list also notes the presence of Touch ID, most likely under the screen as well. Apple has long been rumored to be working on this technology, even before the first under-screen fingerprint scanners appeared on smartphones. Apple’s implementation, however, is expected to simply supplement Face ID rather than be a replacement.