[News] Bezel-Less iPhone on the Horizon? LG Innotek Rumored to Develop Under-Panel Camera

2023-12-08 Consumer Electronics editor

In the pursuit of a larger screen-to-body ratio, smartphones adopting a “bezel-less” design have become a trend. According to a report from the Korean media outlet “The Elec,” rumors in the market suggest that Apple’s iPhone 17 Pro, expected to be released in 2025, will achieve a “100% bezel-less” look, with supplier LG Innotek reportedly developing an under-display camera. This innovation could potentially become a major selling point for the new iPhone series.

LG Innotek, a major South Korean smartphone camera module manufacturer, is actively working on developing an Under-Panel Camera (UPC) in response to the specific requirements of its important customer, Apple.

The concept involves completely hiding the camera components beneath the screen, eliminating the need for a camera notch. This approach aims to offer a seamless, all-screen experience, and it is anticipated that iPhones featuring under-display cameras could be introduced within the next few years.

However, the report further indicated from its sources that, currently, Apple is more likely to adopt specifications for under-display Face ID rather than UPC.

The reason behind this lies in the fact that under-display cameras come with certain drawbacks. Since the camera is under the display panel, the light transmission of the cover glass can affect the entry of light into the image sensor. Poor resolution and the inability to support high-speed continuous shooting are common fatal flaws associated with under-display cameras.

Nevertheless, according to “The Elec”, in an attempt to overcome these drawbacks, LG Innotek is working on incorporating a free-curve prism under the display for UPC. This hardware enhancement aims to improve the light transmission of the camera under the screen, addressing the issues of low transparency and poor imaging quality.

However, an industry source has pointed out that it is currently uncertain when Apple will actually use the under-display cameras produced by LG Innotek. Reportedly, according to insiders, Apple is not entirely satisfied with the samples provided by LG Innotek.

As early as 2021, Apple’s competitor Samsung had already introduced the Z Fold 3 with an under-display camera design, but the image quality of the camera was significantly inferior to that of traditional punch-hole cameras.

(Photo credit: LG Innotek)

Please note that this article cites information from TheLec and TechNews.