Apple is catching up with Android by slowly killing the iPhone's much-criticized notch, reports say

iPhone XS MaxHollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • Next year's iPhones will have a smaller notch cutout, according to a recent note from well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • Apple could also be working toward eliminating the notch entirely, as a separate report from Credit Suisse indicates its suppliers are developing full-screen displays with no cutouts.
  • Such advancements would put the iPhone on a more level playing field with Android rivals like Samsung and OnePlus that have already been minimizing the notch.
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Apple is working to eliminate the "notch" cutout that sits at the top of the iPhone's screen, according to reports from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and analysts at Credit Suisse.

Kuo's note suggests that Apple's 2020 iPhones will feature a smaller front-facing camera cutout, therefore reducing the size of the notch. The details of Kuo's note were first reported by Chinese tech news website My Drivers and have since been circulated on Apple news blogs such as 9to5Mac and Apple Insider. Kuo doesn't say whether all of next year's iPhones will have this minimized notch, or just certain models.

While the notch is expected to be less noticeable next year, there's a chance Apple could eliminate it entirely in the coming years, according to a Credit Suisse note reported by the China Times. That report indicated that Apple's display suppliers are developing full screens without notches, and that Apple's new iPhones in 2021 are likely to come with in-screen fingerprint sensors.

Apple has not immediately responded to Business Insider's request for comment.

Read more: Apple kills its 12-inch MacBook and launches cheaper new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models

The iPhone X's notch was widely criticized when it debuted in 2017, although it quickly became the standard for new smartphones released over the past two years. But Android phone makers have been actively working to create edge-to-edge displays that don't require a cutout for front-facing cameras and facial recognition sensors.

Samsung, for example, implemented a new hole punch-like design in the displays of its new Galaxy S10 phones, which is less noticeable than the bezels on the Galaxy S9 and notches on rival phones. OnePlus and a few other companies have added cameras that pop out of the top of their phones, eliminating the need for a cutout above the screen. Android phone makers like Samsung and OnePlus already sell devices that have fingerprint sensors built into their screens as well.

Kuo's predictions about next year's iPhone possibly having a smaller notch is one of several rumors that have surfaced so far about Apple's 2020 smartphones. The successors to this year's iPhones are expected to support 5G connectivity and will reportedly have upgraded 3D camera sensors for improved augmented reality experiences. Apple could also change the screen sizes of its new iPhones in 2020, according to Kuo's previous predictions. It's also not the first time analysts have suggested future iPhones could have fingerprint scanners built into their displays, as Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis made a similar prediction in May according to MacRumors.

Those planning to upgrade to this year's new iPhones, which are expected to debut in September, can expect to see a new triple-lens camera and an improved Face ID sensor among other features.

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