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Much-desired iPhone feature may not arrive until 2027

We’ve heard a lot in recent years about an iPhone that ditches the Dynamic Island, placing the selfie camera and FaceID technology beneath the glass for a clean, full display. But despite a growing number of Android phones adopting the design, for the iPhone it still seems a ways off.

In 2022, oft-reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that a full display could arrive with next year’s iPhone 16, though others in the same field have since suggested that it may take several more iterations of the iPhone before the tech giant is able to make the change.

In the latest development, a report from South Korean news site The Elec this week claims that an Apple supplier there — LG Innotek — has started to develop an under-display camera (UDC) that could lead to the first iPhone with a display uninterrupted by the Dynamic Island or some other smaller cutout.

UDC technology is a challenge as it has to find a way of getting an adequate amount of light to the sensor, as some of it will be lost as it passes through the display. To overcome this obstacle, LG Innotek is working on a “freeform optic” multiple lens system, which, according to MacRumors, “can reduce optical aberrations and increase the light intensity ratio around the optical module to improve peripheral image quality.”

It’s been suggested that as a stepping stone to a full display, Apple will first place the FaceID technology beneath the screen, possibly with the iPhone 17 Pro, expected in 2025. That would allow the iPhone Pro models to replace the Dynamic Island for a smaller circular cutout for the selfie camera before moving to a full display two years later with the iPhone 19 Pro.

Of course, this is based on what we’ve been hearing through the grapevine, and so the plan could change, especially if unexpected technical challenges arise. But overall, it seems like a reasonable timeline that Apple could follow.

Until then, iPhone owners will have to continue with the somewhat undynamic Dynamic Island, a design feature that some believe was “the biggest iPhone mistake in years,” though others have come to love it (a little bit).

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Trevor Mogg
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