iPhone 13 set to scrap notch at last

Apple patent reveals important change for iPhone 13 that radically alters the need for a notch

iPhone 12
(Image credit: ConceptsiPhone)

Apple may not have officially confirmed the iPhone 12 just yet, but that hasn't stopped the iPhone 13 leaks and rumors from flowing already.

More often than leaks, however, are new Apple-centric patents that demonstrate potentially intriguing mechanics the tech giant could end up using in new iterations of the iPhone

These include a patent for a ToF camera that suggests the new iPhone could have a front depth sensor. We're also expecting the more premium iPhone models to include a LiDAR sensor on the back of the phone.

The latest patent, reported via Apple Insider, indicates that an ambient light sensor could indeed be embedded beneath an iPhone display. This could be an important step toward ridding the new iPhone of its screen notch. 

Right now, iPhone 11 devices include an ambient light monitor found in the notch or top bezel, depending on the model. The patent demonstrates, however, a way to place these same light sensors below the display, much like an embedded fingerprint reader.

The only problem is that installing a light sensor beneath the iPhone display could be challenging. Depending on placement, there may be interference from "other components," Apple notes, such as light from display pixels themselves. 

Apple believes an installation of pixels over an ambient light sensor could be controlled by way of modulating specific image frames. The ambient light sensor could be used to facilitate color temperature changes, or automatically brighten or darken the display in addition to adjustments for dead pixels.

Early rumors indicated that the upcoming iPhone 12 would come packing a smaller notch than the iPhone 11, thanks to advanced camera and sensor technology. 

However, it appears that the exact opposite happened with a recent leak stating that iPhone 12 FaceID notch that appears to be the same size as the iPhone 11's. 

The iPhone 13 will likely incorporate many of the features we’ve seen in previous patents. Perhaps it will be the first model to offer us a foldable option: the patent, for a "foldable electronic device with exposed display region" suggests that Apple could very well have this new design on the way very soon. 

The iPhone 12 release is set for next month, where we'll potentially see the staggered release of four new models. There, it's likely we'll learn more about what kind of improvements Apple's new A14 bionic processor will offer for the phone. It's also about time to see what the new model will or won't feature after all this speculation. 

It’s still very early in the iPhone 13’s life cycle, of course, to make educated guesses at what might be on the way, but new patent appearances make for some very interesting reading. It should be fun to see how Apple evolves its newest iPhone when it finally does debut from here. 

Source: Apple Insider