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Poll: If iPhone 14 replaces the notch with a ‘punch-hole,’ is that a design improvement?

Shrinking the notch has been a top design request ever since Apple introduced the expansive display on the iPhone X. Now a reliable source claims Apple will completely replace the iPhone notch with a Samsung-style “punch-hole” design on at least some iPhone 14 models. If Apple actually makes this change, do you consider it a design improvement or a visual misstep? Voice your opinion in our poll and comments!

iPhone screens once fit in neatly drawn rectangles with straight edges and right angles like the current iPhone SE. Then, the iPhone X modernized that tired design with a more expansive screen that rounded the corners and only used bezel where necessary. Current iPhones still use this design, although iPhone 13 may potentially reduce the size of the notch.

The notch was a huge leap forward in modernizing the look of the iPhone from the original chin-and-forward bezel approach. Gestures and Face ID replaced the Home button and Touch ID, and way more of the front of the iPhone could be dedicated to displaying information.

The notch is still a design compromise, however, as the ultimate goal would be a uniform display that runs smooth along the top just like it does on the sides and bottom. So what makes the notch so notch-y? There’s a lot of technology behind it:

  • Infrared camera
  • Flood illuminator
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Speaker
  • Microphone
  • Front camera
  • Dot projector

If Apple could integrate all but the front camera into the top of the iPhone somehow, the result would be no notch but, instead, a punch-hole, as described by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week. We don’t have to think too hard about how this might look because Samsung already takes this approach with its recent phones.

My feelings are mixed on notch versus punch-hole. Having the front camera floating with screen around it sort of draws attention to it, but I also think it looks more futuristic than the notch. What do you think? Let us know in the comments and poll!

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.