Apple AAPL +1.23%’s plans to redesign the iPhone have already started to leak. But with the company under new pressure to deliver, a major source in Apple’s supply chain has revealed a potentially game-changing breakthrough…
In an official announcement, Apple’s Face ID component supplier AMS has revealed technology which can remove the iPhone’s notch and open the door to the truly bezel-less design of our dreams.
What AMS has created are new light and proximity sensors which use proprietary algorithms to operate quickly and accurately at very low light levels. These levels are so low the tiny 2 x 2.5 x 0.5mm chips can be placed behind an OLED display. And bingo! Face ID no longer requires a notch to be cut into an iPhone screen to function.
“Smartphone OEMs today are striving to maximize their products’ screen-to-body ratio, reducing the bezel area as much as possible on the display’s face,” said AMS Senior Marketing Manager David Moon. “The TCS3701 enables phone designers to take this trend to a new level, potentially eliminating the bezel entirely.”
And with AMS generating 45% of its revenue from Apple, you know exactly where this is headed.
Moreover, AMS itself needs a win. Just last month the company slashed 20%from its revenue predictions citing “recent demand changes from a major consumer customer” which was easily identified. Apple subsequently announced its own revenue reductions itself which were clearly connected.
But the AMS breakthrough isn’t a magic bullet.
Even with Face ID behind the display, iPhones still have to fit a front facing camera. Samsung, Apple’s biggest display partner, has announced ‘New Infinity’ screens which can also move the camera behind the display, but it remains at least two years out. Consequently, Apple is now tipped to copy Samsung’s ‘punch-hole’ design but not until 2020.
All of which leaves Apple’s 2019 iPhones (which also omit 5G) facing an uphill battle. The return of an old friend and introduction of an audacious camera are instead the headliners.
Will they be enough? If not, Apple’s price cuts will have to continue…