The iPhone 13 is still a few months away, but that hasn’t stopped Apple from looking to the future. According to Patently Apple, recent patent filings were granted in relation to “an under-display camera for Face ID and/or Touch ID.” It will depend on where the camera is actually positioned on the device.
Rumors claim that the iPhone 13 will retain the notch that we have become accustomed to since the iPhone X. However, it is said to be slightly smaller, giving users a bit more screen real estate. But with the iPhone 14 and these new patent filings, Apple could end up ditching the notch altogether.
If Apple were, in fact, to bring back Touch ID to its flagship iPhone, it would make sense for it to be an under-display scanner. According to the patent, there will be three layers, in addition to components, an “Optical Imaging Array” and Processor. This is not a new piece of technology, as ultrasonic, under-display scanners are already available on many of the best Android phones.
But another intriguing aspect of these granted patents has to do with the potential for an under-display selfie camera. Not only is there a patent for the iPhone, but there’s also one that is granted for the Mac.
Adding both Touch ID and Face ID would give Mac and iPhone users the best of both worlds. While some have been hoping for Touch ID to make its iPhone return, we’re not holding out breath. The rumors really began churning in that direction after the iPad Air was refreshed featuring an embedded fingerprint scanner in the power button.
13 Comes Before 14
While it’s fun to consider what a notch-less iPhone would look like, those are just pipe dreams for now. The iPhone 13 is slated to arrive this Fall, and could bring many of the features we were hoping would come to the iPhone 12.
These include features such as a faster 120Hz refresh rate, which the iPhone 12 is capable of, but Apple reversed its course at the last minute due to battery life concerns. Powering the iPhone 13 will likely be the Apple A15, although we wouldn’t be surprised to see some M1 branding in there somewhere.
It’s also possible that Apple will introduce an Always-on Display of sorts, similar to what is available on the Apple Watch. This is also a feature found on many Android phones, and is truly a feature that is missed when switching between the 12 Pro Max and various Android devices.
Given that the iPhone 13 isn’t slated to arrive until September, there’s plenty more that we’ll learn about the next iPhone between now and then. Let us know what you think about these new patent filings and whether you want to see Touch ID return to the iPhone.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.