Apple could unveil iPhones featuring under-display cameras, introducing Dynamic Island technology
A recent report indicates that Apple is actively developing an under-display camera (UDC) for its upcoming iPhones within the next few years. South Korean tech giant LG is said to be working on an under-panel camera (UPC) designed to conceal the component cutout on a smartphone’s display, ensuring an uninterrupted viewing experience during activities like gaming or video watching. While nothing is certain, this report has it that Apple is looking to replace the Dynamic Island display cutout with under-display sensors for both the camera and Face ID in future models.
According to The Elec’s report, LG Innotek, the electronic component manufacturing arm of LG Group, is in an “advanced development” stage for a UDC system. This system is anticipated to address a significant challenge faced by under-display camera technology- insufficient light transmission. Unlike conventional selfie cameras, under-display cameras permit less light to pass through the display area, leading to reduced information reaching the camera lens and sensor, resulting in lower-quality images.
The report highlights LG Innotek’s ‘freeform optic’’ lens technology as a potential solution to the challenges posed by under-display cameras. The company has filed patents related to this freeform optic technology since 2021, covering areas such as the “optical system, camera module, and mobile terminal.” By utilising a freeform lens, the patent suggests that distortions, such as lower quality in peripheral areas or image blurring, can be minimised by adjusting the thickness of the surrounding lens.
While Apple is not expected to integrate UDC modules into its smartphones until 2026, reports suggest the company is considering incorporating an under-display sensor for Face ID authentication before introducing the under-display camera. Although the inclusion of these sensors hints at a future iPhone with an “all screen” display, it’s noteworthy that Apple won’t be the pioneer in under-display cameras, as Chinese smartphones like the ZTE Axon 30 5G and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 (both released in 2021) and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 have already adopted this technology with low-resolution selfie cameras beneath the display.