Apple may be preparing to kill off its most controversial feature yet.

The tech giant could remove the "notch" when it releases new iPhones in 2019, Korean website ETNews reports, citing industry sources.

The notch would be removed in order to make way for a full-screen design that takes up the entire front-facing portion of the iPhone display, ETNews noted.

Apple first introduced the notch in the 10th anniversary iPhone X last September, which turned heads due to its wallet-busting price tag.


The notch is a cutout at the top of the iPhone X's screen that houses cameras that power the phone's facial recognition technology, as well as sophisticated augmented reality sensors to enable popular features like Animoji.

Adding a notch to the iPhone X was necessary, in part, because of the phone's edge-to-edge organic LED screen.

It's unclear how Apple would integrate the technology currently housed in the notch.

The report says Apple will still include its facial recognition technology, Face ID, in future models, which means those sensors will still have to be on the front of the device.

Apple is said to be working with suppliers to discuss the phone's design.

"Apple decided to get rid of notch design starting from 2019 models and is having discussions with relevant companies," a source told ETNews.

"It seems that Apple is planning to implement [a] full-screen that is more complete in its new iPhones," they added.

Additionally, the report doesn't provide any details on the size, resolution or shape of what the iPhone's display will be in 2019.

However, it does suggest that Apple might drill small holes into the iPhone's display in order to accommodate both the advanced sensors and fully edge-to-edge screen.

When Apple unveiled the iPhone X at its annual September event last year, it faced some surprising criticism from consumers who thought the notch was unsightly.

Others believed that the display cutout interfered with the iPhone's edge-to-edge display.

Some users called the notch "bad design" or, as one reviewer called it, "a visually disgusting element."

Still, not everyone was perturbed by the notch, with some saying that it was a radical design that made way for the phone's futuristic all-screen design.

That's partly why many smartphone makers have since emulated the notch in their own devices.

Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Asus revealed smartphones at Mobile World Congress that featured the notch on the front-facing display.

The LG G7 is also widely expected to be built with a notch.

Notch copycats may be part of the reason behind Apple's decision to phase them out in 2019.

'Apple is looking for another strategy that will differentiate itself when Chinese smartphone manufacturers are imitating and applying notch designs to their new smartphones,' ETNews noted.

Apple is also believed to be prepping three new iPhone models for 2018, several of which are expected to be featuring the notch.

There are other signs that point to the fact that Apple will be keeping the notch, at least for now.

Last month, Apple informed developers that all apps submitted to the App Store will have to support the iPhone X's contentious notch design.

Meanwhile, Samsung may also be looking at ways to move beyond the notch.

The Korean smartphone giant filed a patent last month showed off a prototype smartphone that has two holes drilled into the top of the screen, presumably to embed cameras and other sensors.

- This story first appeared in the Daily Mail.