There was disappointment last month when Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 and it still had a notch taken out of the top of its screen, albeit a smaller one than on the previous year's models. Customers have made it clear that they would like a truly all-screen iPhone, and soon.

But the practicalities make it difficult for Apple to provide this, since whatever design it goes with, the iPhone needs to find space for front-facing cameras and sensors for Face ID and/or Touch ID. (We discuss some of the issues in our article In defence of the notch.) And the rumour mill has already started speculating about how Apple will approach this problem with the design of the sensor panel in next year's iPhone.

Recently, the famed but erratic leaker Jon Prosser claimed that the notch would be replaced by a pinhole for the camera, something that has been present in some rivals' phones for a while. The Samsung Galaxy S21 is one example of a pinhole design on the market already.

iPhone 14 mockup from Jon Prosser

A mockup of the iPhone 14 with a pinhole and no notch, posted on Front Page Tech.

But a new rumour from the Chinese social media site Weibo, reported by MacRumors, now claims it is "unlikely" that the pinhole camera will enable Apple to drop the notch, and that the iPhone 14's screen will be disrupted by both a notch and a pinhole.

The post, which has since been deleted, comes from the account @PandaIsBald, which as MacRumors observes has made at least one accurate prediction in the past: the launch of the 9th-gen iPad at Apple's event last month.

The notch will at least be smaller, the source claims, with Apple continuing on the path of reducing its size step by step. At this rate it should have vanished entirely within a decade or so.

Of course we jest. But if you're longing for a completely notch-free iPhone, it currently looks like you'll have to wait until the autumn of 2023. Keep up with the latest leaks and rumours with our regularly updated iPhone 14 news hub.

And if you're looking to buy before then, find a bargain on the current range with our roundup of the best iPhone deals.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation (using DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.