Apple’s journey towards creating an iPhone with a genuinely “all-screen” display has taken a significant leap forward. Korean suppliers, including LG Innotek, have embarked on the development of an innovative under-display camera (UDC). This technology is poised to revolutionize the iPhone’s design by concealing the camera beneath the screen, eliminating any visible holes when not in use.
The UDC technology is distinct from traditional front camera modules. It faces the challenge of reduced light reaching the image sensor, as it must pass through the display. This can affect image quality and brightness.
To address this, LG Innotek is crafting a unique “freeform optic” multiple lens system. This system aims to minimize optical aberrations and enhance light intensity around the optical module, thus improving peripheral image quality.
LG Innotek, which has been filing patents for this technology since December 2022, is now intensifying its development efforts.
Meanwhile, LG Display, affiliated with LG Innotek’s LG Group, is also advancing its UDC development. The goal is to achieve a light transmittance of 20% by 2023 and 40% beyond 2024, aligning with Apple’s standards. Despite receiving a UPC sample from an unnamed supplier, Apple deemed its performance unsatisfactory.
The adoption of under-screen camera technology in Apple’s lineup is anticipated to be a gradual process.
Initially, the 2025 iPhone 17 Pro is expected to feature under-panel Face ID technology, marking the Cupertino firm’s last premium model with a circular front camera cutout.
Subsequently, in 2027, Apple plans to incorporate the UPC in its “Pro” iPhone models, as suggested by Ross Young, a renowned analyst from Display Supply Chain Consultants.