The first image looks like a photo of a CAD illustration, which are sometimes leaked from Apple’s supply partners. The second image appears to be based on the first schematic, and draws out the details of the hardware housed within the notch.
To achieve a more compact package, the redesigned hardware layout has the TrueDepth camera’s ambient light and proximity sensors in a more central position within the array, with the iPhone speaker sitting above them in the bezel of the handset instead of between them.
Unlike Apple’s marketing images of the hardware in the notch, the microphone is not pictured in either image. Prosser says it hasn’t been labelled in order to emphasize the other hardware, and that it’s actually housed next to the speaker.
Earlier this month, another leaker shared images said to depict the iPhone 12 with a notch that is approximately 1/3 smaller than the current notch, but the images didn’t reveal details of the hardware arrangement inside.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to suggest that at least one new iPhone in 2020 will feature a smaller front camera lens for an improved screen to bezel ratio, ultimately resulting in a smaller notch at the front. More recently, sources close to well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman have corroborated rumors of a slimmer notch.
We’ve heard rumors suggesting Apple eventually plans to debut an iPhone design that eliminates the notch entirely, but it’s not entirely clear just how that would work as the front-facing camera still needs to be able to function even with some sensors under the display.
Apple supplier AMS last year announced new camera sensor technology that allows the RBG light and the IR proximity sensor used for the front-facing TrueDepth camera system to be embedded under an OLED display. It was thought that Apple could potentially introduce the new sensor tech in its 2020 iPhones to achieve the smaller notch, but that’s not what today’s alleged leaked schematics suggest.
Here you go, internet. 😏 pic.twitter.com/REfSw28KSX
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 20, 2020
Last June, one analyst with investment firm Credit Suisse in Asia said that Apple plans to offer notch-less iPhones with full-screen fingerprint authentication in 2021. However, the same analyst said Apple will launch one notch-less iPhone this year, and the rumor mill hasn’t swung in that direction and it’s unlikely to do so at this late stage in the yearly cycle. Regardless, Apple removing the notch on the iPhone is almost certainly its end goal.
Apple is expected to offer four iPhones in three different sizes this year: A 5.4-inch iPhone, a 6.7-inch iPhone, and two 6.1-inch iPhones. One 6.1-inch model and the 6.7-inch model will be higher-end iPhones, while the other 6.1-inch iPhone and the 5.4-inch iPhone will be lower-end models and successors to the iPhone 11. Apple is expected to launch the new models in the fall.