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'Notch' as ​​a tribute to bezelless displays …

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Original material

There is still a lot of noise around the 'notch' in iPhone X – the small part of the bezel at the top of the display that hides the camera, microphone and face recognition system. But it doesn't have to be that way. Recent regular discussion began in the light of the announcement within the MWC of a number of Android – devices with a similar 'notch'. According to rumors, such a solution will be in new smartphones from LG and OnePlus.

The prevailing opinion is that these companies copied the implementation from Apple. But it's not that simple. The truth is that the appearance of the 'notch' was inevitable, it was predetermined by the transition to 'frameless' OLED – displays. To support such displays and to provide room for the front camera and other components, phone designers have two options. They can leave a small frame at the top of the display or highlight a special place in the display – in the middle of the top of it, the same 'notch'.

The advantage of a full frame is a more harmonious design. The disadvantage is the space and display area spent on the frame. The advantage of a 'notch' is the ability to keep the display on the sides of the notch. “With a notch, manufacturers can achieve a larger display diagonal, as it does Apple,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. As a disadvantage of the 'notch', one can cite an invasion of the harmonious design of the interface of the upper part of the display, which, perhaps, caused the designers Apple to frown.

Some manufacturers have opted for a bezel like Samsung in the S9 and Google in the Pixel 2. Apple and more recently some manufacturers Android have opted for 'notch'. But to say that the latter copied the solution Apple is wrong. They just ended up in the same situation and with the same design challenge as Apple, so they made the same decision. Essential released a phone with a comparatively smaller 'notch' even before iPhone X was released.

“The criticism is unfair given the fact that there are only two ways to achieve a 'bezel-less' display,” says Moorhead. “The irony is that we don't hear fan criticism Apple of a company that moved too late to such displays when Samsung started the process a few years ago with the Galaxy Edge +.”

We can say that Apple prepared the world for the 'cut'. 'Apple couldn't hide it this time, so the decision was made to include the' cutout 'in the design,' 'IDC analyst Tom Mainelli told me. – And this freed the rest of the market, because everyone counts with design Apple, even competitors. The approach is similar to the industry's response to Apple the headphone jack. Those who did not do the same initially ridiculed the decision, and a year later followed Apple '.

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Why did Apple go to 'cutout'

Knowledgeable sources consider the 'cut' to be a necessity rather than an innovation. If Apple had a choice, they would hide all the components from the 'cutout' under the display glass. But the technology was not yet ready when Apple had already started on iPhone X.

Since Apple adhered to the concept of a bezel-less display, the company's engineers have been trying for months to fit a new type of Touch ID fingerprint sensor under the display. But the approach, by and large, did not justify itself, the sensor worked unreliable, and therefore Cupertino decided to do differently, and last summer it was decided to replace Touch ID with Face ID, a face recognition system for user authentication. And they knew that the sensors and lasers for this system would be hidden somewhere on the front of the phone. This place became the 'cutout'.

If Apple could fit the Touch ID under the display, there would be no need for a 'notch'. The engineers Apple could have positioned the familiar front-facing camera at the top of the device. But we won't know. In the future, smartphones from Apple will most likely be a single bar with a solid display on the front panel. No broken lines or cutouts.

“When it comes to design, there are trade-offs,” says Mainelli. “I believe that inside the company they can't wait until the 'cutout' is a thing of the past. ' Recently Apple received a patent for a device layout that allows elements to be hidden behind a touchscreen, which will help to eliminate the 'notch'. At the same time, I will not say that the smartphones presented at MWC Android – smartphones did not copy any design elements iPhone X. But I strongly disagree with the idea that these manufacturers made an attempt partially adopt the vision Apple.

People won't buy a smartphone solely because of the cutout. They actually want a bezel-less display, and at this stage, the best way to approach it is with a notch display.

By Mark Sullivan

Let's try to develop the author's thought a little. Yes, there is a 'notch' in smartphones Apple and in some Android devices. But it's not about copying, it's just that companies have a similar paradigm in design. The trend was not set this year, and the trendsetter was not at all Apple. Perhaps we are just facing a transitional stage from frames to 'frameless'. Of course, some manufacturers frankly 'distorted' the design, sometimes without even investing in functional content. It's a shame that the MWC's leitmotif is the 'cut' and the resemblance to Apple, which did not even participate in the congress program.

I would like to hope that the rejection of the 'notch' will occur in the coming years, subjectively I do not like any elements that violate the uniform design of the display. The topic, to be honest, is pretty fed up and has gotten eyes, let it quickly remain in the past.

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