Samsung earlier this week teased a notch-free, all-screen Galaxy S10 by showing an intriguing A8 device featuring a display with a hole near the top. That hole would allow the selfie camera to have an unobstructed view without the need for a notch. Samsung has recently decided to launch new smartphone features on mid-range devices rather than flagships, so the company’s A8 teaser isn’t surprising. But Samsung isn’t the only company working on getting rid of the notch. Apple earlier this week was granted a patent that describes tech which would be used to drill holes through screens safely, thereby eliminating the need for the notch currently found on the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.
First spotted by Dutch blog MobielKopen, the patent is titled Electronic device displays with holes to accommodate components and was filed in June 2016, well before all-screen devices became a thing. Of course smartphone makers begin planning new devices years in advance, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
The patent doesn’t even contain images that would remind anyone of the now-iconic iPhone X design that Android phone makers copied this year. But Apple makes it clear that the purpose of this technology is to increase the screen-to-body ratio of devices without removing any necessary front-facing features like a camera. At the same time, Apple stresses the importance of drilling the holes without damaging the various layers of the screen.