When might the iPhone lose its display cutouts and hole-punch screen cameras?

Will Appel ever design a seamless iPhone without unsightly cutouts in the display for the TrueDepth sensor array for Face ID or holes in the panel for the selfie camera?

Closeup of the Dynamic Island on an iPhone 14 Pro
No display cutouts by the iPhone’s 20th anniversary? | Image: James Yarema/Unsplash
  • A new report alleges the iPhone 16 Pros will debut under-screen Face ID in 2024, with TrueDepth camera parts seamlessly blended into the display.
  • Under-screen cameras on Android are visible when not in use. Apple’s solution should make TrueDepth camera parts invisible to the naked eye.
  • In the meantime, the iPhone 15 family should bring Dynamic Island to all models. If you’ve skipped the iPhone 14, this could be a reason to upgrade.

iPhone 16 Pro could get under-display Face ID

Korean publication The Elec claims the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max coming down the pike in fall 2024 will debut under-display Face ID tech.

Unlike under-panel cameras on Android, Apple’s solution is understood to create a seamless appearance with no visible TrueDepth camera parts. However, that circular hole in the display for the regular selfie camera will remain, the report has it.

The story lines up nicely with predictions from reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In April 2022, Kuo predicted Apple would bring under-display Face ID in 2024.

The same analyst also said he believed that 2024’s iPhone 16 Pros would lose the circular hole in the display for the selfie camera. This contradicts The Elect’s report, which claims that an under-panel FaceTime camera won’t be ready before 2025.

The road to the first genuinely fullscreen iPhone

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max introduced Dynamic Island, an area at the top of the screen that’s comprised of a small circular cutout in the display panel to house Apple’s FaceTime camera and a pill-shaped cutout which houses parts for the TrueDepth camera that’s used for Face ID.

This year, Apple should bring Dynamic Island to all the models in the iPhone 15 lineup, with the display cutouts remaining the same as on the iPhone 14 Pros. And in 2024, the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will ditch the TrueDepth camera cutout and leave only a small circular hole in the display panel for the selfie camera.

Display analyst Ross Young believes Apple will also bring this under-panel Face ID + hole-punch display configuration to the non-Pro iPhone 17 models in 2025.

In 2026, the iPhone 18 Pro and iPhone 18 Pro Max should introduce an under-panel selfie camera, provided the technology will be ready by then. And on the iPhone’s twentieth anniversary in 2027, this should also become the norm for non-Pro iPhones. Read: 10 iPhone tips, tricks and settings for the best experience

MacRumors notes that all of the above points to the iPhone providing a 100 percent usable display area sometime around 2027. This should improve the sense of immersion and realize Apple’s goal of creating a truly fullscreen iPhone with an edge-to-edge display without any interruptions, holes or cutouts.

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