No, it is not just a question of marketing
It is clear that the image in a company like Apple is important. Even the smallest detail of the devices is studied by the marketing team, so the notch is more than expected. It is a differential element with the competition that makes that as soon as you see an iPhone you can know that it is indeed an iPhone just by looking at that eyebrow. However there are reasons beyond this.
In 2017, on-screen fingerprint recognition technology was not yet fully developed and as Apple was looking for its first “all-screen” smartphone with the iPhone X, they had to find an effective unlock option. Integrating the sensor in a side button did not convince them and they trusted everything to Face ID. This is still to this day, with its pros and cons, the best facial recognition system on a smartphone.
This Face ID is composed of several sensors called True Depth that launch a series of infrared (and invisible) rays to the face, being able to recognize the face of the person in front of it. A meticulous system very studied by Apple and that has made the company feel “forced” to continue to maintain the notch so that it continues to be just as efficient.
And yes, under that black eyebrow are the aforementioned sensors, in addition to the light sensor that makes the screen turn off when, for example, you are on a phone call or listening to an audio from WhatsApp. The call loudspeaker and the front camera are also integrated there. Putting so many sensors together and having them work well in such a small space is complex.
In this 2021 Apple has reduced by 20% the size of this notch, making it narrower, although slightly higher. All this after a process of study and tests that have verified that the repositioning of the sensors is effective enough so that everything continues to work just as well as previous iPhones. Although we wonder if Apple really has cost 4 years this study or is it really not raised until recently.
Is it true that it will be completely phased out in 2022?
Before the iPhone 13 was even presented, there was already rumors that next year’s iPhones will remove this item. At least in the ‘Pro’ versions and in favor of a small hole in which to house the camera and in true Samsung style. Even Jon Prosser published a render several weeks ago with what, according to his sources, will be this new device without notch.
Now, we find it hard to believe that Apple took 4 years to reduce the notch and decided to ‘load it’ only 12 months later. It is said that they would have successfully completed the tests of Face ID under screen, something of which there is no record, but if it were true it would still be strange. If this system were sufficiently developed, it could have been included this year. And in case there were still tests missing, why didn’t Apple keep the notch intact so that its elimination would be more impressive without intermediate steps?
These are still personal hypotheses that a server handles, although I certainly don’t think I’m the only one who thinks so. Be that as it may, we are still early in the day to have highly reliable leaks about upcoming Apple smartphones. Therefore, we will continue to wait for new information to confirm or deny this possible and definitive goodbye to the notch.