Everyone likes to crack jokes about the notch on the iPhone X display (okay, maybe not everyone, but it's a point of criticism that Samsung was quick to pounce on), but Apple isn't laughing. Just the opposite, Apple is showing how serious it is about the notch by putting out a mandate to developers to support the new display when releasing new apps or updating existing ones, effective July 2018.
"iOS 11 delivers innovative features and the redesigned App Store to hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Your apps can deliver more intelligent, unified, and immersive experiences with Core ML, ARKit, new camera APIs, new SiriKit domains, Apple Music integration, drag and drop for iPad, and more. Starting July 2018, all iOS app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK and must support the Super Retina display of iPhone X," Apple states in a new developer document.
It's the last line that is of interest. Apple doesn't mention the notch specifically, but makes clear that all apps going forward must properly fit the full screen of the "Super Retina" display on its flagship iPhone X handset, meaning they have to take the notch housing the camera sensor at the top into consideration.
This is essentially an extension of Apple's previous mandate calling for all new apps submitted to the App Store to properly support the iPhone X. Now the same policy applies to existing apps, when and if developers choose to update them.
The policy is good news for iPhone X owners, which despite the pessimistic outlook by analysts has been selling well—the iPhone X drove record-setting sales two quarters ago, and according to market research firm Strategy Analytics, it was the best selling single smartphone model on the planet last quarter.
"We estimate the Apple iPhone X shipped 16 million units and captured 5 percent market share worldwide in Q1 2018," wrote Juha Winter, a senior analyst for Strategy Analytics.
So, there are millions of iPhone X owners who should be happy about Apple's new app policy. And reading between the lines, it looks as though Apple is preparing for future iPhone models to have notched displays too, as opposed to the iPhone X being a one-and-done affair.