Ever since the iPhone X made its debut with a boat-shaped notch hiding the Face ID hardware, Apple has not deviated from that design language. The sole exception to that trend has been the iPhone SE line-up, which is loyal to an even older design trend with thick bezels. But earlier this month, we heard rumors that Apple is experimenting with a hole-punch design for some iPhones in 2022. Now, DisplaySearch and DSCC analyst, Ross Young, has predicted that the 2023 iPhone SE refresh will go with a larger display rocking hole-punch aesthetics.
Apple LCD iPhone leak, we now hear the next LCD iPhone SE will remain at 4.7″ in 2022. Some rumors that it may have 5G with Sub-6 GHz as well. Also hearing about a 6.1″ version in 2023 with punch hole rather than a notch.
— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) April 1, 2021
For the notch, will Apple go centered, or will it take the cornered approach?
Ross tweeted that the iPhone SE upgrade destined for 2023 will come fitted with a larger 6.1-inch display that has a hole-punch drilled at the top. For comparison, the 2020 iPhone SE refresh features a 4.7-inch display and has unsightly bezels with the same design language as the iPhone 6. As for the iPhone SE model that is set to debut in 2022, Ross predicts a 4.7-inch display for this one as well, most likely with the same old design.
Now, going with a hole-punch design language makes a lot of sense, assuming Ross’ prediction proves to be the real deal. A hole-punch design means we won’t see a notch – and thus, Face ID hardware – on the iPhone SE refresh for 2023. What this means is Apple will be saving some money on the Face ID system, and might equip the device with an in-display Touch ID, something that has been rumored to be on Apple’s roadmap as well.
A hole-punch means no Face ID hardware. And that means lower production cost.
For an ‘affordable’ iPhone – the 2023 iPhone SE in this case – removing the expensive Face ID hardware will definitely help Apple keep the cost in check. We’ve recently heard rumors of an iPhone SE Plus with a larger 6-inch+ display being in the pipeline as well, but it won’t likely arrive this year. TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently mentioned in one of his investors’ notes that ‘some iPhones’ might flaunt a hole-punch design next year. But there is no word whether it refers to the core iPhone line-up, or the ‘SE’ family.