iPhone 14 Pro could end up being a weird stopgap before the iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 13
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPhone 14 range could very quickly seem very odd, as while the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are both widely rumored to have two camera cut-outs on the front– one being a circle, the other pill-shaped – that design might only last for one generation.

According to The Elec, Samsung Display is in the process of developing a new under-panel camera technology which Apple plans to use on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max to hide the Face ID components under the display.

By the sounds of things, the actual camera will still be housed in a punch-hole, but that would mean Apple would need just one small cut-out like we see on many Android phones, rather than also having a second larger one.

The end result would be a less distinctive design, but also perhaps a less divisive one, and importantly it would allow for fewer interruptions in the screen.

While we’d take this claim with a pinch of salt for now, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard it, with reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo for example also saying back in April that the iPhone 15 Pro would have under-display Face ID.

Other high-profile leakers such as Ross Young and Mark Gurman have also claimed that Apple will deliver under-display Face ID sooner or later, so it seems like it’s probably only a matter of the time, whether 2023 is the year or not.

But if it does happen as soon as 2023 then the iPhone 14 Pro could soon feel like the odd one out in Apple’s range.

Analysis: obstacles to overcome

While under-display Face ID sounds like a good idea, it will only really be a good thing if Apple delivers it well, and early examples of under-display cameras haven’t been great.

That’s partially down to their picture quality, which isn’t a consideration with Face ID (and this issue is likely why Apple reportedly won’t move the selfie camera under the display yet).

However, another problem is that they’re not actually totally hidden under the screen. They leave a small area that looks noticeably different to the rest of the display, and while that’s arguably ultimately less distracting than a punch-hole, it’s also arguably uglier, and certainly not a perfect solution.

We expect Apple will avoid this – reportedly it’s using new technology to hide Face ID, so perhaps this new technology will solve the problem.

Apple certainly isn’t the sort of company to usually offer such imperfect solutions anyway, and it could well be that the reason we’ve waited so long for the company to embrace under-display tech is that it wants the Face ID components to be truly invisible.

Via Apple Insider

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.