Maybe an elongated notch will be erased for the next iPhone models. In a new patent filing, Apple appears to be developing at least one notch that's very different than what's common today. The new display cutout would pack everything into a corner.
Apple wouldn't attach this notch to the corner, though. It'd sit alone while the OLED panel wraps around its design. There's also a possibility it sits below the OLED panel. Companies are interested in this cutting-edge design, but mobile devices need to let in a certain amount of light for selfies and the ambient light sensor.
Here's an illustration of the patent, which LetsGoDigital spotted:
Notches are controversial, but there's no doubt they work in getting a whole bunch of cameras and sensors into one area while maximizing screen real estate. Apple's alternative could solve most complaints, though. It dedicates a location in the corner essential components while being less obtrusive to users.
It's unclear when Apple would put this patent to work. Truthfully, next year's iPhone models are unlikely to have the circular display cutout. In 2020 or later, then an in-display design for frontside's components can be talked about with seriousness.
Samsung, meanwhile, has this technology in development as well. It recently announced the Infinity-O Display alongside several other designs. Even though Apple filed for its own patent, the Cupertino-based company could be fine with asking for Samsung's help. The two are already partners for the OLED panels on recent flagships.
Until there's an actual announcement, assume Apple's beloved notch is to remain in its current form. Consumers who don't own the iPhone XS or the iPhone X might dislike it so much, but sales figures suggest that Apple hasn't lost anyone due to a minor design choice.