Newly published Samsung patent imagines phones with ‘hole areas’ rather than a notch

Very few iPhone design elements over the past decade have sparked a controversy as bitter and highly disputed as the infamous notch hindering the iPhone X from featuring a truly “all-screen” front.

But as easy as it was to mock this unusual esthetic compromise, there’s no denying the initial success of Apple’s first facial-recognizing handset, while rumors continue to swirl of various OEMs considering similar “borderless” smartphone implementations.

It’s entirely possible Samsung took a “notchy” approach into consideration for a little while before settling on a “conventional” Infinity Display Galaxy S9 layout, with yet another related patent application filed back in May 2017 made public today to reveal some of the chaebol’s R&D secrets.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) document is aptly titled “electronic apparatus having a hole area within screen and control method thereof”, envisioning a mobile device of the future with, well, holes drilled in the actual display to accommodate “a camera, a receiver, a sensor positioned on an upper end of a front side or a home button positioned on a lower end of a front side, etc.”

That pretty much explains the whole idea behind this patent, and there are even pictures and sketches further clarifying how Samsung might be planning to fight future bezel-shrinking iPhones.

If something like this is ever brought to market, and that’s a big if, images and text would be displayed all around the tiny “hole areas”, which could make for a more immersive experience, or end up distracting the user big time. Either way, it still feels like an imperfect solution to what many users are starting to deem a non-issue. If it’s so difficult to design a 100 percent bezel-free smartphone, why not just stick with today’s razor-thin bezels? Notches, holes, cutouts, they’re all flawed and unnecessary.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).