iPhone 14 Pro and all iPhone 15 models reportedly to sport the pill and hole cutout design

As many of you may have heard by now, it seems that Apple is planning to change the notch on this year’s iPhone 14 Pro-branded models for a controversial-looking hole and pill cutout. Now, AppleInsider reports that Apple might carry on with the look for all iPhone 15 models.

Analyst believes iPhone 15 models will all have the hole and pill cutout like the iPhone 14 Pro models

Reputable industry analyst Ross Young at Display Supply Chain Consultants corroborated earlier rumors about the iPhone 14 Pro getting a new design to house the Face ID sensors on the front of the phone. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are expected to have the hole and pill cutout, while the base iPhone 14 will continue to use the smaller notch design, similar to the iPhone 13.

On the other hand, the analyst believes this design will be carried on to all the iPhone 15 models, which are expected to be unveiled in 2023. “This will be another instantly recognizable display shape for Apple,” Young stated, adding that “the pill + hole design is nearly as wide as the notch but will certainly save some pixels above the holes.”

For the iPhone 15 models, the analyst added that the pill + hole design might get smaller, but how much smaller, it is quite early to be able to predict. But Ross Young didn’t stop there. He also forecasts what Apple plans to do in the future. He expects that the Cupertino-based tech giant has plans to replace the standard Face ID with under-display facial authentication. This pretty much means placing all the Face ID elements under the display, so no visible hole on the front will be present to distract you from your viewing experience.

However, this is not a very easy task. According to the analyst, it requires a panel redesign for Face ID, so that it can operate at high accuracy. He estimates that the most critical area is replacing the conventional Yb/MgAg cathode on top of the OLED stack, as it is not very transmissive in IR regions.

In case you’re curious, here’s the OLED structure, layers upon layers, and you see the cathode layer at the very top:

This issue has some potential solutions. Young believes the preferred approach that Apple is looking into is patterning the cathode materials. Other options include using a transparent cathode or leveraging backside laser drilling. According to his information, one supplier has been qualified for the patterned cathode approach for mass production, so it could probably happen. Despite that, it will most likely not make it in time for the 2023 iPhone release. There could also be coordination challenges between the display and sensor teams, and it seems that companies have told Young the under-display Face ID will not be debuting in 2023.

So for now, at least according to Ross Young, iPhones will come with a pill + cutout shape, starting with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. This new look will be replacing the signature notch that Apple was reluctant to get rid of, and which dates all the way back to the iPhone X.

iPhone 15: what else have we heard so far

Yes, it is indeed quite early to talk about the iPhone 15 (after all, the iPhone 14 hasn’t been out yet), but the rumor mill has started and there are a couple of things we have heard so far about the 2023 iPhone lineup.

The most exciting thing from the rumors about the phones is that Apple seems to be planning to include a periscope zoom lens to the iPhone 15 Pro models, for clearer and higher quality zoom photos. Apple is also reportedly planning to ditch the SIM tray and use only eSim for the 2023 iPhones.

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