Apple expects to ship over 100 million iPhones next year. It’s a massive number to throw down, especially when the smartphone sales have slowed down. But, a new patent today surfaced online and it could be the reason for the company’s confidence in shipments for next year.
The patent application, first spotted by LetsGoDigital, showcases a new Apple device that appears to be the iPhone but could be the next-gen iPod Touch as well. We are skeptical about this being an iPhone patent for one reason. The sketches in the patent application (attached below) do not boast a notch up-top as is the case with current-gen iPhones.
The sketches showcase a device with a fullscreen display, no notch and well, bezels on the front and a vertical camera setup on the rear. The strange thing, however, is that the renders have a power button, mute switch, and volume rockers but skip on the selfie camera. Also, we cannot see any reference to Face ID hardware that currently sits inside the notch and makes for the only unlocking mechanism available aboard the iPhone.
The report further suggests that what you see above could be a rough design sketch for next year’s iPhone. It says that Apple will not only introduce an in-display selfie camera, but would also nix Face ID in favor of an in-display fingerprint sensor. This seems highly unlikely as Apple’s Face ID is superior to other facial recognition technologies in play. It would also not ditch the notch abruptly and bring back Touch ID in a new avatar.
The patent application, as reported by GSMArena, declares that it’s a partial patent. The device may be registered as a ‘computer with communication function’ but Apple is only filing the patent for the display and the broken line outer shell of the device is there for reference. The report doesn’t go into the details about the display itself, so we sure are short on details on that front.
So, if we were to speculate, the patent could most likely be for the new iPod Touch that arrives next year. We saw an iPod refresh earlier this year but it sported the same older Touch ID-laden design as opposed to the addition of Face ID in the mix. Another guess could be that Apple is looking to introduce a new iPhone lineup and it will house a new display. It’s only a patent application though and there’s no guarantee that the display technology will find its way into any product down the road.