Apple to banish iPhone's TrueDepth 'notch' with sub-display Face ID in 2023, Kuo says

in iPhone edited April 2021
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is planning to introduce a Face ID system that sits beneath iPhone's display, potentially nixing the bemoaned TrueDepth "notch" for a truly full-screen experience.


Kuo offers few details on the matter in a note to investors on Wednesday, saying only that an "under-display Face ID" system will debut on iPhone in 2023. The tidbit was included in correspondence that detailed a new 48-megapixel camera set to debut on iPhone in 2022.

For some iPhone users, the promise of invisible biometrics has been a tantalizing feature request since TrueDepth was introduced with iPhone X in 2017. The facial recognition solution offers security and an improved user experience over past methods, but in its current form requires a slice of screen real estate to operate. Sub-display technology would presumably remedy the issue.

How, exactly, Apple intends to implement through-the-screen Face ID remains unclear, though the company has patented similar systems. Most recently, a patent application from February details a method of integrating photodetectors capable of imaging depth maps into a TFT screen.

In the interim, Kuo predicts Apple could turn to hole-punch camera designs seen in other flagship handsets like Samsung's Galaxy S10.

Beyond sub-display TrueDepth tech, Apple is rumored to be working on in-screen Touch ID technology that could operate in tandem with Face ID, enabling an alternative means of authentication when facial recognition is not viable. Rumors suggest the new Touch ID system might debut on a so-called "iPhone 13" this year.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    The biometrics are not the problem rather than the front facing camera. An under-display front facing camera will not be competitive in 2023. For the Face ID sensors this might work fine as it works differently then photography but In order to achieve high quality pictures with the front facing camera you still need an “outside” camera, presumably somewhere in the frame or a hole-punch. In fact, there were some rumours of a hole-punch coming to iPhones in 2022 already.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Wish someone would confirm Touch-ID is returning this fall instead of just rumors. 
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Wish someone would confirm Touch-ID is returning this fall instead of just rumors. 
  • Reply 4 of 7
    In the interim, Kuo predicts Apple could turn to hole-punch camera designs seen in other flagship handsets like Samsung's Galaxy S10. 

    This sentence is ridiculous. First, Kuo predicts that Apple ‘could’ do something... you can predict anyone ‘could’ do anything. That’s like betting with someone else’s money. Second, there is NO WAY Apple would do a hole-punch. The only way one can tell if you are using an iPhone from the front is the notch. Even if it was a better design (personally, I don’t think so), they would not do it for that reason. Unless Apple can think of a way that their hole-punch would be easily differentiated from Samsung’s then possibly, but I can’t think of how else you would make a hole-punch uniquely identifiable.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,523member
    Awesome, my iPhone XS should be about ready for retirement by then.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 618member
    Guess I'm one the few people that is unbothered by a notch.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,075member
    Wish someone would confirm Touch-ID is returning this fall instead of just rumors. 
    I agree.   I would finally upgrade from my 8+. 
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