Anyone familiar with Apple's smartphones can probably draw the classic iPhone design from memory. The home button and the thick bezels that run along the top and bottom of the screen are elements of branding recognized around the world. Even the silhouette of an iPhone works as a minimalist logo for auxiliary products that work with the model.

With the advent of iPhone X, Apple is finally doing away with the home button. They are streamlining the new iPhone design with more space dedicated to the screen and the bezel-less display.

Well, almost bezel-less. By now, everyone should be familiar with the iPhone X's Notch. What's the deal with that?

'Top-notch' design?

The notch appears to be a confusing design choice at first.


Sure, we can say that they really needed that space so that they can put a front camera and some sensors in. However, there are phone models (like the Samsung Galaxy S8) that prove front panels do not need to be very prominent. It can be inconspicuous and hidden along the top edge.

This only leads to the conclusion that the "notch" is not "bad design" on Apple's part — it's a deliberate mark to make an identity. And probably a genius one at that.

An article by The Verge tried to address the question of the 'notch,' and we found out that it is most likely Apple's way of creating a new brand identity. The thick bezels on the top and bottom of Apple's previous phone models were their distinguishing features. The iPhone X has the notch.

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Not so easily forgettable

This is not just some speculation, either. Apple itself has not been shy about pushing the 'top-notch' design choice. In their website, the silhouette of the iPhone X is clearly distinguished from the others because of the notch.

More evidence is a new design guideline for app-makers on the iPhone X. It states very specifically that developers should not try, in any way, to hide the notch when their apps are being used. It's like Apple telling developers that "Yes, you may not like the notch, but the notch is what makes the iPhone X. Leave it alone."

Still, Apple can't please everyone. There will always be people that will not like the new design. Despite this fact, we can still learn effective marketing and branding strategies from Apple.


The notch is evidence of the company's design philosophy. Apple would rather put in something that will be remembered, even if it seems awkward at first, than sticking with a bland, forgettable design.