The iPhone X’s notch is an unsightly part of the device’s design, a necessary sacrifice to house the advanced sensors for Face ID. Now, what was initially met with mockery is being adopted by competitors around the industry. The iPhone X clones are coming.
Companies mimicking the iPhone’s design isn’t a new trend. Dating back to the original iPhone’s release in 2007, Apple’s competitors have used the device’s design as inspiration. Years later, and the practice hasn’t stopped, with the iPhone X being the latest device to become an object of imitation. Which is both a big surprise and wholly expected.
Despite widespread derision from critics and fans, controversy surrounding the iPhone X’s notch has mostly faded. Much of that has to do with the realization that the notch doesn’t effect the experience in a significantly negative way. That, and Apple has done a fantastic job of embracing the cutout, turning it into a positive rather than a flaw.
Just think of the iPhone’s silhouette. It’s as identifiable as the Nike swoosh. The iPhone X, now sporting a drastically different design, keeps up that tradition. You can identify the device’s silhouette from a mile away, and it’s due entirely to the notch.
It’s why we’ve seen so many iPhone X clones as of late. These companies aren’t doing it with the express intent of adopting facial recognition or edge-to-edge displays. The goal is to dilute Apple’s grasp of the notch and convince consumers their devices are just like the iPhone X. These companies could just have easily knocked off the Galaxy S8, LG V30, or Pixel 2 XL, which have slightly larger top and bottom bezels.
In addition to the iPhone X’s notch becoming an iconic part of Apple’s future, the company has made the design quirk less jarring. It gives other companies the confidence to embrace it, just as Apple has done. Even Google wants to aid in the notch’s adoption, as a new report claims Android P will better integrate with devices—such as the Essential Phone—that feature notches and camera cutouts.
That’s not to say that Apple’s way is the best way. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 looks more like a Pixel 2 XL, and it’s unlikely Apple will keep the notch around forever. As soon as the company figures out how to embed Face ID sensors below the display, you can bet it will. It’s very likely the cutout is a temporary fix until the technology can catch up to Apple’s—and the industry’s—ambitions of completely bezel-less designs.
Only then will Apple build its ideal iPhone without making any compromises. For now, Apple will continue to embrace the notch—and so will some of the company’s biggest competitors.