iPhone 2019 Leaks: No Notch Design Coming, Leaker Says, but Not Until 2020

And why Samsung could beat Apple to the punch.

Apple’s “notch” design, introduced with the iPhone X in 2017, has guided an entire cycle of smartphone design, but new evidence suggests the Cupertino company could be moving away from the notch entirely … in 2020.

The latest news on the 2019 iPhone comes from Twitter leaker @UniverseIce, who’s best known for sharing early details on Samsung smartphones. However, in a tweet over the weekend, they revealed Apple’s alleged plans for the next two iPhone product cycles.

“As far as I know, the 2019 iPhone still uses Notch, and in 2020 will use hole in display,” @UniverseIce writes.

“Hole in display” is almost certainly referring to the technology required to drill a hole (or multiple holes) into a smartphone’s display to install cameras. This would allow Apple, or any other company, to offer an edge-to-edge screen without any sort of notch. Apple actually patented a similar concept in 2016 titled “Electronic device displays with holes to accommodate components,” though it’s likely the methods described in that patent has evolved over the past two years.

At the moment this is still mostly theoretical, but there’s reason to believe another company could beat Apple to the finish line by releasing its own fullscreen notch-free smartphone in 2019. Samsung is expected to hit that milestone in 2019 with the Galaxy S10. The company also revealed a similar design for the Galaxy A8s, which launched in China earlier this month.

If Apple does take an extra year to release a notch-free iPhone, it may be for a very good reason: Face ID. The company’s face-scanning technology requires a complex array of cameras and sensors. So beyond simply figuring out how to put a camera inside a display, Apple also needs to find a way to condense its entire Face ID system into a much smaller footprint.

When you consider all that, even 2020 starts to seem like a stretch for a notch-less iPhone.

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