Apple Could Be Running Out Of Design Ideas For iPhone, Say Tech Analysts



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Apple’s minimalist design principles have set the benchmark for smartphone makers in the past decade. When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, consumers learned that gadgets of its kind needed just one physical button to function. With iPhone X, Apple made the home button redundant by introducing gesture controls.

If the brand could have everything done its way, it would likely design an iPhone that looks remarkably similar to the devices used in Black Mirror’s ‘Nosedive’. It would be bezel-free, have an end-to-end display, and not have a notch.

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Unfortunately, the notch is a necessary feature—for now. With the home button gone, it houses the TrueDepth technology that runs Face ID.

Now that the iPhone sports a nearly bare-bones aesthetic, experts fear that Apple might be exhausted of visible features to remove.

“They’re running out of things to drop,” described Gene Munster, veteran tech analyst and Managing Partner at Loup Ventures.

Echoing his sentiments, Mark Rolston, Co-Founder of argodesign, told CNBC that Apple might perpetually reduce the iPhone’s bezel size “millimeter by millimeter” in order for the TrueDepth sensors and camera to function.

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“They could make [the camera] a hole that floats inside the screen itself, and make it a bit more magical, but [consumers] want the camera. We want selfies, so the camera will always be there.”

Apple seems to be stalling its external hardware design problem by cutting off third-party suppliers. Right now, Samsung develops iPhone X’s OLED displays, but the rumor mill suggests that Apple is considering making its own screens.

“It’s indicative that they’ve wrung out as much innovation as they can out of current supply chains,” Rolston added.

Now that Apple is just left with the iPhone’s side buttons to eliminate, Jason Snell, editor of Apple news site Six Colors, believes that even these controls would end up functioning virtually, just like the home button.

This could be a good thing, though, as it would offer the brand “more freedom” to improve devices’ internal tech, he explained. Apple previously removed the earphone jack to free up space for a larger battery.

[via CNBC, images via various sources]

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