According to LetsGoDigital, which cites a Credit Suisse presentation, the 2020 iPhone will sport a completely new design. The Swiss financial services company noted in its report that Apple suppliers were finalizing development of a fullscreen display for the 2020 iPhone.
To achieve the fullscreen display, the report suggests Apple will move the TrueDepth selfie camera under the screen and bring back Touch ID via an in-display fingerprint scanner. The Credit Suisse report alleges the under-screen camera will only be present in the “top model.”
LetsGoDigital also included some Apple design patents for a notchless iPhone filed with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) on December 23rd, 2019.
However, there are a few things to note here. First and foremost, while the technology for an under-screen camera does exist, it’s still in a fairly early prototype stage. Apple typically doesn’t use such early-stage technology in its devices. Instead, it prefers to wait and ‘perfect’ technology before introducing it to the iPhone.
As for in-display fingerprint scanners, it’s exceedingly unlikely that Apple will replace Face ID with one. The Cupertino, California-based company claims Face ID is 20 times more secure than Touch ID. Coupled with the issues Android manufacturers have had with in-display fingerprint scanners — I’m looking at you, Samsung — it’s more likely Apple will use in-display Touch ID as a back-up system to Face ID if it chooses to include it at all.
It’s not far-fetched that an under-screen camera could work for Face ID either. Asus managed to make the ZenFone 6’s flip-up camera system work for face unlock, so Apple could definitely do it with an under-screen camera.
Ultimately, the 2020 notchless iPhone will likely sport a slightly larger top bezel with enough room for the speaker grille and Face ID hardware. It’ll probably look something like the Pixel 4, but hopefully with a smaller top bezel. The patent images included in the LetsGoDigital report support this more than an in-display camera anyway.