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10 iconic iPhone features we've lost

It's inevitable that, as Apple and the mobile industry as a whole advance, more features will be dropped from our smartphones in the name of innovation, so here are the features we think will be next for Apple's chopping block…

SIM tray

This tray could be a thing of the past very soon

This tray could be a thing of the past very soon

First appeared: 2007, original iPhone

The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus and iPhone XR brought with them a new feature for iPhones: an integrated eSIM alongside a traditional nanoSIM tray, providing iPhone users with dual-SIM capabilities for the first time.

An eSIM works like a traditional SIM card, but instead of being physically inserted into the phone it's built-in, and can be wiped and assigned to a different carrier if the user wants to switch.

While we're likely still a few years away from the physical SIM card disappearing altogether, the introduction of the eSIM into the latest iPhones could spell the beginning of the end for it.

LCD screens

The iPhone XR has a LCD display

The iPhone XR has a LCD display

First appeared: 2007, original iPhone

With its latest batch of iPhones Apple has all but moved away from LCD screen technology in favor of OLED panels, but it's kept its 'affordable' flagship model – the latest being the iPhone 11 – holding out with an LCD display… for now.

OLED displays offer better color reproduction, lower power consumption and less bulk than their LCD counterparts, making them ideal for smartphones.

We expected the iPhone XR to be the last to sport an LCD display, but Apple has kept them on its affordable flagships. While OLED panels now appear on cheaper mid-range phones, other advanced display conditions might force Apple's hand to convert its full lineup to OLED – like, say, boosting its refresh rate to 90Hz or above, as is rumored for the iPhone 12...

Lightning port

The Lightning port's time may be coming to an end

The Lightning port's time may be coming to an end

First appeared: 2012, iPhone 5

There are rumors that the iPhone 12 may drop the Lightning port in favor of a USB-C connection. Apple has already adopted the connection type for its MacBook line, and the latest iPad Pro duo have also seen their Lightning connector switched out for a USB-C port.

The shift away from the Apple-only standard will be welcome news for those with other devices already using USB-C, and will see the iPhone fall in line with Android handsets when it comes to connection types.

We may have already witnessed the Lightning Port’s final outing on the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max, with 2020 potentially being the year Apple does away with the connection type altogether.

The notch

The iPhone X was the first Apple handset with a notch

The iPhone X was the first Apple handset with a notch

First appeared: 2017, iPhone X

The screen notch is still a relatively new feature on smartphones, but its days may already be numbered. 

We've already seen some Android manufacturers experiment with full-screen, no-notch, bezel-less displays (see the Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X), and in the coming years we expect Apple to follow suit, one way or another.

There are still a number of technological hurdles to overcome in order to fully realize the no-notch, all-screen dream – such as where the ear piece, Face ID tech and various sensors move to – but keep an eye on this one. The notch may be gone before you know it.

Mute switch

The mute switch has been around since the very first iPhone

The mute switch has been around since the very first iPhone

First appeared: 2007, original iPhone

A physical staple of iPhone designs through the years has been the easily-accessible mute switch on the side of handsets, enabling you to quickly flick between silent and loud profiles. Its days could well be numbered though.

Apple has already culled the home button and dropped the headphone jack, with their removal contributing to a cleaner overall design, and the mute switch now stands out more than ever. 

Apple has already dropped the switch from its newer iPads, which could well be a sign of things to come on the iPhone.