Apple changed things up this year with the iPhone X, adopting plenty of oft-requested features, but also changing up the iPhone’s design in a big way.
Following the handset’s unveiling, I saw a lot of back-and-forth regarding the biggest change: The iPhone X’s “notch design.” Apple made it clear that the design of the flagship phone made it possible to fit in the TrueDepth camera system that allows for things like Animoji and Face ID, Apple’s new biometric security measure.
The conversation at the time was whether or not Apple was actually going to keep that design around for a while, or if it would be one that would simply get phased out over time, and soon, as the TrueDepth camera system technology improved and din’t need such a big space to work.
On the one hand, one camp believes that the notch design in the iPhone is going to be around for quite some time, and that Apple will use it as the device’s main differentiator in the design department for years to come. The iPhone X ditched the Home button, which made the iPhone lineup immediately recognizable. Now the notch handles that particular burden, and Apple wouldn’t get rid of it so soon.
The other camp suggests that Apple only had to go with the notch design because this is a first-generation change, with new hardware, and that when Apple can get it ironed out, and fit into a smaller space, the notch will get flattened out, and future iPhones will not boast that particular design decision.
I saw these theories crop up again recently, when the Rumor Mill started pointing to the iPad lineup boasting the TrueDepth camera system and Face ID. Concept artists put together what a notch design on the iPad Pro might look like, while others suggested that Apple wouldn’t have to go with that design because the iPad obviously offers up more real estate.
I think we’ll probably get an answer on the fate of the notch in the early part of 2018, if Apple does indeed plan on unveiling new iPad Pro models with Face ID and Animoji support. If those bigger devices have the notch design, then it’s a pretty safe bet that this is a design cue that Apple is going to keep around for years to come as a defining feature. If not, and if Apple doesn’t say for certain it’s due to the bigger size, then maybe we can start to guess when the notch gets removed on iPhones, too.
I could go either way on this. The fact that Leagoo has a smartphone on the way that copies the design of the iPhone X, notch and all, tells me that other companies see it as a feature to mimic, and that Apple is indeed on to something when making sure people recognize the iPhone X out in the wild. In that case, I think Apple will be keeping the notch design around for quite some time.
Apple is a company that wants to make sure you can recognize its products from just a glance, without even having to hold it yourself. If you’re sitting next to someone who is using an iPhone X, and that notch is visible, you immediately know what phone it is. Just like you could say the same thing of the Home button. (And even when it was an Android phone copying Apple’s design, it was still mistaken for an Apple device.)
But where do you stand with the iPhone X’s notch design? Is this something you think Apple will get rid of sooner rather than later? Or is it here to stay for quite a long while?