On the plus side, Apple’s tenth-anniversary iPhone X is the most significant iPhone redesign Apple has ever launched. But on the downside, it’s also the most divisive iPhone Apple has ever released. The first Apple smartphone to start at $1,000 features a bold new design that represents Apple’s unique take on the “all-screen” trend currently sweeping over the smartphone industry. Well, it was Apple’s unique take… but now the “notch” is everywhere you look because it’s being ripped off so aggressively and shamelessly by dozens of Android phones.
Speaking of Android phones that aggressively and shamelessly copy Apple’s iPhone X, Huawei on Tuesday unveiled a pair of new iPhone clones. They look pretty nice, though we’ll never see them in the United States since the current administration forced wireless carriers and Best Buy to stop selling Huawei phones. Though the new Huawei P20 and P20 Pro are indeed iPhone copycats, they also introduce a few nifty features, like the P20 Pro’s triple-lens rear camera. But there’s another new feature that users are probably going to like even more, and it could have solved a few problems for Apple had it been included on the iPhone X.
Android phone makers have been copying Apple’s iPhone for nearly a decade now, but things have certainly reached an entirely new level this year. Companies large and small have decided to toss out any semblance of originality and just blatantly rip off Apple’s latest iPhone design. That goes for small China-based phone makers as well as large companies like LG and Asus. In fact, Huawei, the latest company to steal Apple’s iPhone X design, is one of the biggest smartphone companies in the world.
One would think the company’s success would help it afford a fairly decent team of designers, but apparently that isn’t the case. So instead of designing its own flagship phones for the first half of 2018, Huawei outsourced the new design of its P20 and P20 Pro smartphones to Apple. Here’s how they came out:
As an aside, Huawei wasn’t satisfied with only copying Apple’s iPhone X design, so it also ripped off Apple’s AirPods design. Seriously… look at this picture from The Verge and try to keep a straight face:
Anyway, Huawei is a copycat. We get it. That said, the company has an interesting software solution tied to its display notch that some Android fans are going to love. Even though just about every Android company is stealing Apple’s iPhone X design this year, plenty of Android fans hate the new design. Perhaps that’s why Huawei came up with a solution that offers users the best of both worlds.
As we covered a few weeks ago and then again a few days ago, there’s an option in the settings on the P20 and P20 Pro to hide the notch. Here’s what it looks like in the settings app:
Now that the phones have been announced and bloggers have had a chance to play with them, we can see what the option to hide the notch looks like in action:
It’s a solution that seems so obvious. In fact, rumors ahead of the iPhone X’s release suggested that the phone would look just like the P20 does with the notch hidden, with a background that’s always black. Apple decided to fully embrace the notch though, and the iPhone X wears it like a badge of honor… for better or worse.
Many Apple fans like the iPhone X’s design. In fact, even some people who hated the notch when they first saw the iPhone X in leaks have since come around to really like the design once the began to use the phone (cough, cough). Still, there are plenty of other people who hate the look of the notch, and I’ve spoken to a number of Apple fans who refused to upgrade to the iPhone X solely because of the design.
If Apple included an option to hide the notch like Huawei did on its iPhone clone, would it have a meaningful impact on sales? We’ll never know. But considering all the reports that have suggested iPhone X sales have been far lower than Apple was expecting, an option to hide the notch certainly wouldn’t have hurt.