These may be Apple's rejected designs for the notch and Dynamic Island

iPhone 15 Pro review front flat angled handheld
The iPhone 15 Pro with its Dynamic Island (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

It's hard to imagine the notch on the iPhone 14 or the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 15 looking any different than they currently do, but of course there will have been a full design and review process behind them – and some unused ideas just leaked out.

According to information obtained by MacRumors, a variety of different designs were explored before the ones that we now have got finalized. Some mockup images have also been put together to show how the rejected ideas would've looked.

One of the ideas apparently under consideration was a pop-up sidebar down the right of the screen, to go alongside the notch – a sidebar that would be used to show the time, signal strength, battery level, and other bits of key information.

Apple also reportedly thought about extending the notch all the way across the top of the screen – so less a notch, more an Android-style status bar – which may have had the added benefit of giving users a little bit more battery life.

A design for life

iPhone mockup concept

Dynamic Island ideas that didn't make it (Image credit: MacRumors)

Apple's design team was busy when it came to introducing the Dynamic Island too, which first appeared on the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. One of the rejected ideas here was a full row of status icons underneath the selfie camera.

It seems that Apple designers also toyed with the idea of having a Dynamic Island that was permanently elongated – so just an island, in that case – before deciding that it should change shape and size depending on context.

Head over to MacRumors to see the full set of mockups and imagine what might have been. It's possible that some of these ideas might appear again in the future, as Apple continues to tweak the look of its iPhone series.

It's also possible that both the notch and the Dynamic Island will eventually disappear altogether, if Apple can figure out how to get the selfie camera and the sensors next to it to sit under the display somehow (as Samsung has with the Galaxy Z Fold 5).

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.