The iPhone X Notch continues to cause discussions: even though the black bar hardly bothers most users, many are still wondering what Apple probably thought. But Apple had a good reason for the design idea.
iPhone X “Notchgate”: What did Apple think?
When Apple introduced the iPhone X in September, a design element caused a sensation: the black bar, which interrupts the display at the top, called by Apple itself “Notch”. Some – including us – spoke of a “notch gate” scandal, some tried once again the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who would surely have hunted the design team out of his office when he the “Notch” for the first time in the Horizontal view would have seen.
There is perhaps a good reason that Steve Jobs’ successor Tim Cook has apparently even found the Notch to be good: he is a unique selling proposition. In a time when smartphones are becoming more and more similar anyway, as they already did, the iPhone X remains recognizable in this way. The front of other smartphones is more or less just the display, the iPhone X is also the display – and the “Notch”.
To clarify the phenomenon: Which smartphones are in our product image that you see above? The left device recognizes everyone immediately. The right one is a OnePlus 5T. Even insiders will have to look at least twice to be sure.
The fact that the devices differ just so much in the display also has the side effect that the iPhone X can be seen even if it is in a protective cover that covers the back – including the Apple logo.
The Notch makes the iPhone X unique
Napier Lopez of TheNextWeb says that this is the real reason for Apple’s startling design decision. And he should be right: In fact, it is the case that an iPhone X in public immediately recognizes itself as such. People who often see an iPhone X “in the wild” might be more willing to spend as much money on the device as many others around them have done.
This may explain why Apple advises developers not to cover the notch with black areas, but to integrate it into the design of the user interface. The notch should be noticed, Apple wants users to see it so that everyone on an iPhone X recognizes that it is an iPhone X.
This also explains why iPhone X “copies” from the Android camp in China also take over the notch, although this would not be necessary. For Apple, the whole thing should have the same effect as currently synonymous with the AirPods: The design of the wireless earphones provided for discussion.
But it also ensures that they attract attention in public immediately. This gives them the impression faster that the devices are probably very popular – and therefore also convincing in terms of quality.