Although the overall chassis design of the iPhone 13 this fall will look almost identical to the iPhone 12 series, the rumor mill has come to a consensus that the notch is getting smaller.

The display notch first appeared on the iPhone lineup with the iPhone X in 2017, when Apple shrank the screen bezels dramatically. The design and size of the notch remained unchanged with the following three generations of iPhone. It seems this year Apple is finally ready to make some design improvements in that area …

Based on images shared by DuanRui on Twitter, we can see the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini’s notch by way of alleged screen protectors for the models. DuanRui refers to these as “film samples,” which may be a mistranslation.

In corroboration with previous reports, the images show how the notch is getting smaller in width while the inset height remains about the same.

Apple is achieving the reduction in width by hoisting the earpiece upwards and into the top screen bezel. The Infrared and camera components remain in the visible notch region. The photos show how the screen protectors accommodate for that change by intentionally not occluding the earpiece.

By overlaying photos of an iPhone 12, we can estimate the proportional difference in size. The new notch is about 30% in smaller width than its predecessor. This means iPhone 13 customers will get slightly more overall screen real estate to show content. However, it is mostly regarded as an aesthetic change to make the design of the iPhone more modern in the face of competition from Android smartphones, many of which have already advanced to punch-hole style display cutouts.

For the iPhone 13, customers can expect the iterative smaller notch design pictured above. In 2022, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple will move to a punch-hole display with a smaller circular cutout. However, fans of the iPhone 12/13 mini should be aware that Kuo also says that 5.4-inch form factor will not be available in next year’s iPhone 14 lineup.

In 2023, Kuo has said Apple may be able to make an iPhone that has no notch of any kind by moving the entire front camera system under the screen.

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About the Author

Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.