Apple repeatedly describes the iPhone 14 Pro’s “pill and punch” display cutout design without a dynamic island, although it’s not an option on the device.

Apple support document showing the supposed “pill and punch” cutout design.

In a new support document titled “Use the Always-On Display with your iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max” that was released yesterday, Apple clearly shows the device’s two display cutouts with an area of usable between them and without a dynamic island. This is at least the third time the design has been spotted by official Apple sources.

Evidence that Apple was explicitly using the supposed “pill and punch” design was spotted for the first time in the initial graphics that were posted on Apple’s website following its “Far out” event. Shortly after, Apple released dev assets for the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ showing the display cutouts alone, before reuploading the assets showing the dynamic island correctly.

The repeated error is curious given that there is currently no way to disable the dynamic island and allow content between the two display cutouts to appear normally. The graphics are also striking considering that for much of the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ rumor cycle, the device was expected to look exactly like this. Rumors of the dynamic island and the two display cutouts appearing as a single “pill” thanks to software improvements only surfaced a week before the Apple event.

The errors could indicate that the dynamic island was intended to be an optional feature or was even a rather late decision in the development of the iPhone 14 Pro. It seems very likely that due to the siled nature of Apple’s internal structure, employees responsible for web design, developer resources, and support docs were only aware of Dynamic Island just before the Apple event.

When information about the Dynamic Island solidified, it was assumed that earlier rumors proclaiming a design with two visible display cutouts were simply due to hardware leaks, with the software still heavily locked down. Apple’s repeated illustration of the supposed design suggests that the initial understanding of how the display cutouts might have been more official than previously thought.

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