Apple Researching Ways to Expand the iPhone's Display to Hide the Notch

Apple is researching ways to hide the iPhone's notch when it is not in use and expand the display, according to a newly granted patent.

iphone x flexible oled display
The patent, first spotted by Patently Apple, is titled "Electronic devices with adjustable display windows" and was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It explains how a device's display could move as to show and hide the front-facing camera and other optical components.

Apple describes this mechanism as creating a "window region" in the display, through which a camera or other TrueDepth array components, such as a dot projector for Face ID, can work. Then, when these parts are not in use, the display would move back over the window region to hide the sensors underneath it. The summary of the patent reads:

An electronic device may have a display with an array of pixels for displaying images. The display may have a window region. During operation, a component such as an optical component may operate through the window region. The window region may overlap a movable portion of the display. The window region may be operated in open and closed states. In the closed state, the movable portion of the display overlaps the window region and pixels in the movable display portion emit light through the window region. In the open state, the movable portion of the display is moved away from the window region so that light for the optical component may pass through the window region. The optical component may be a camera or other component that receives light through the window region or may be an optical component that emits light through the window region.

The patent describes two main mechanical means through which the display could move to create a window for the notch components. The first is a display that is a flap formed either by a flexible display or a separate rigid display layer that moves about a hinge. This flap would be bent away from the rest of the display to open up the window region.

apple adjustable display windows patent 1
The second embodiment is a flexible display that moves via an electrically adjustable actuator, which would slide the entire display down to open the window region and show the notch components. These mechanical movements would occur under the glass of the display.

apple adjustable display windows patent 2
Apple mentions that the display window may have a coating to help it reflect light for the optical components and that it may be transparent to light emitted by pixels when the movable display portion is closed. The patent also explains that the window region could use a mirror in a periscope-like formation to conceal the optical components, much like the folded camera configurations on some Android smartphones.

While patents are not a confirmation of Apple's exact plans for future products, they do highlight the company's specific areas of research. Apple is believed to be exploring a hole-punch front-facing camera layout for the ‌iPhone‌ as soon as 2022, with the total removal of the notch expected by 2023. The technology outlined in this patent is one way in which Apple could achieve this objective.

Tag: Patent

Top Rated Comments

wutnow Avatar
14 months ago
I don't see them actually putting moving parts inside an iPhone...
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
14 months ago
This seems like a very complicated solution to hide the notch
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacLoveMacHate Avatar
14 months ago
Touch ID. Just use Touch ID. It's right there, Touch ID.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
14 months ago
The notch doesn’t bother me at all. Please work on making a 2 day battery life on a single charge. That’s more beneficial, ideal and appreciative.


I don’t think Apple itself likes the hole punch idea ? they just want a flat slab of screen. That’s the ultimate iPhone.

Maybe something like this?



Update: I have another idea!

Maybe swipe up and down gesture to show the notch and hide it? This can activate the camera itself as well.

Attachment Image
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blackhawk10 Avatar
14 months ago
I've owned every iPhone model with "the notch" and it never bothered me....I don't even notice it!!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sharkoneau Avatar
14 months ago
One drop with these mechanical parts, and I’d never see the camera again ?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iphone 13 gaming a15

China-Based BOE Rumored to Supply Displays for iPhone 15 Pro in 2023

Monday January 24, 2022 1:57 am PST by
China-based display maker BOE will supply Apple with OLED LTPO displays for the higher-end models of the iPhone 15 lineup in 2023, according to a new report from The Elec. Following unsuccessful attempts by the Chinese maker in 2020 to supply displays for the iPhone 12 series, BOE joined Apple's list of display makers to produce panels for the baseline 6.1-inch iPhone 13 earlier this year....
LG UltraFine Display

Apple Stops Selling 27-Inch LG UltraFine 5K Display

Friday March 11, 2022 11:43 pm PST by
Apple has removed the 27-inch LG UltraFine 5K display that was previously a Mac user's go-to option for external monitors from its online store following the launch of the Studio Display. LG and Apple had worked on the display together, promising tight integration with macOS. The UltraFine 5K display featured a 5K display, P3 wide color with 500 nits of brightness, and one Thunderbolt 3 port ...
oppo x rollable

Samsung Rumored to Launch First 'Rollable' Foldable Phone Later This Year

Thursday March 24, 2022 5:54 am PDT by
Samsung will add a third foldable device to its smartphone lineup this year that will likely feature a unique rollable form factor, according to a reliable leaker of Samsung's plans. Oppo X 2021 rollable phone concept The existing Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 have been relatively successful additions to Samsung's smartphone family, and the company reportedly plans to ship over 10...
iphone 14 cads mysmartprice

Alleged iPhone 14 CAD Renders Reveal Virtually No Design Changes With Same Notch and Rear Camera Design

Thursday March 17, 2022 2:38 am PDT by
Following basic iPhone 14 Pro CAD renders surfacing online yesterday, new images today alleged to be renders for the lower-end iPhone 14 models have been leaked, showing the same iPhone 13 notch and rear camera design. The renders, shared by MySmartPrice, obtained through an "industry insider," depict a very similar design for the assumed two lower-end models of the iPhone 14 lineup compared ...
studio display power cable

PSA: Studio Display Power Cable is Non-Removable

Thursday March 17, 2022 6:46 am PDT by
Apple's Studio Display features a built-in non-removable power cable on the back that, even when attempted to be removed with force, does not come out, despite the Pro Display XDR featuring a removable power cable. British YouTuber Oliur demonstrated the unique quirk about Apple's $1,599 starting price display in his review of Apple's latest display. Apple's Studio Display also features...
studio display

Apple's $1599 Standard Studio Display Does Not Come With a Polishing Cloth

Wednesday March 9, 2022 3:19 am PST by
Apple's brand new standard Studio Display does not come with a polishing cloth included in the box, unlike the Pro Display XDR which offers a cloth in both the standard and nano-textured models. On its website, Apple says that only the nano texture Studio Display will come with a polishing cloth in the box, alongside the display itself and a one-meter Thunderbolt cable. Apple's...
studio display 1

Apple's Studio Display vs. LG's UltraFine 5K Display

Wednesday March 23, 2022 11:27 am PDT by
With the unveiling of Apple's new 27-inch 5K Studio Display earlier this month, it immediately drew comparisons to LG's similar UltraFine 5K display that's been on the market for a number of years. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The LG display is $300 cheaper than the Studio Display, and while availability has been spotty, LG says it will continue to be available...
apple glass enclosures patent main

Apple Researching All-Glass iPhone and Apple Watch Designs

Thursday November 18, 2021 8:55 am PST by
Apple has furthered its research on devices with all-glass enclosures, a newly granted patent filing shows. The patent, first spotted by Patently Apple, is titled "Electronic device with glass enclosure" and was granted to Apple by the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier today. The research focuses on electronic devices with six-sided glass enclosures and glass casings that...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...