Now that 2019 is finally over, tech industry analysts are busy researching as to what will become the next big thing in 2020. For smartphone manufacturers, the competition continues to see which brand will sport the best cameras or the smallest bezels. Then there are others that are pushing the boundaries of design by using flexible touchscreens. However, this year might herald a new trend as under-display cameras are speculated to replace the sensors in hole-punch, pop-up, and notches.

Over the years, the smartphone industry has been gradually researching technology that will end up reducing the sizes of the bezels. Most modern handsets are equipped with front-facing cameras as well as various sensors mounted up front.

Apple came up with a solution with the iPhone X as it debuted the controversial notch. Not to be outdone, various brands that rely on Android developed motorised pop-up modules to house selfie cameras. Then the latest enhancements introduced hole-punch cameras.

BGR reports that a reliable industry insider leaked what appears to be the first shots of the under-display cameras. The smartphone models in the photos were not indicated, but it could be prototypes from an unnamed brand.

The images show that the sensors are practically inconspicuous unless users zoom in closely at the upper section of the touchscreen. According to the source, the new technology will be called "mosaic" and will replace the hole-punch camera found on most mobile phones today.

Reports have not indicated as to when it will be unveiled and what device will ship with this new technology. Nevertheless, with the 2020 Mobile World Congress (MWC) scheduled for the last week of February, it is likely venue to showcase its capabilities. Furthermore, the expo might the stage where the public will know which brands are equipped with an innovative feature.

A related report reveals that Apple already filed a new patent with the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) that showcases a notch-less smartphone with an under-screen camera. Rumours claim that it could be for the iPhone 12, which is expected to launch later this year. It is possible that the Cupertino tech group will not call it mosaic, but something else entirely.

Oppo Reno 3 Pro and Reno 3
Oppo introduces two 5G-ready mid-range smartphones -- the Reno 3 Pro and Reno 3. Photo: Oppo