Here’s how Apple managed to shrink the notch on the iPhone 13 lineup

Apple revealed the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max during its California Streaming virtual event earlier this month. While the iPhone 13 lineup didn’t receive major design changes, Apple did shrink the notch slightly compared to older Face ID iPhone models. If you’ve been wondering how Apple managed to fit the same hardware in a smaller space, we now have some answers.

iFixit recently shared a detailed teardown of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. The teardown sheds some light on how the company managed to shrink the notch by 20% on the latest iPhones. According to iFixit (via 9to5Mac), Apple had to move the dot projector in the front-facing camera from the edge to the center of the module and combine the flood illuminator into this new module to achieve a smaller notch. The company also moved the earpiece speaker from inside the notch to the top bezel of the iPhone.

Along with these design changes, iFixit also found that any third-party display replacement now breaks Face ID. The publication notes:

Face ID works even when we disconnected the front sensor assembly. However, any display replacement knocks out Face ID.We tried transferring the sensors from the old display and porting over the Face ID hardware, but no dice. It looks like the display is serial-locked to the phone.

This makes the iPhone 13 Pro more difficult to repair than the previous model. Therefore, while the iPhone 12 got a repairability score of 6/10 last year, the iPhone 13 has received a 5/10. The lower rating is due to all the changes on the inside, including the ones Apple made to get a smaller notch. It is rumored that the iPhone 14 lineup will replace the notch with a hole-punch camera, but that is yet to be seen.

For more details, check out the complete teardown below.

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