Apple is reportedly working to ditch its “Touch ID” sensor in future iPhones and iPads, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. It makes sense, at least if you’ve been following along with recent iPhone 8 rumors.
Kuo believes Apple will replace the current Touch ID sensors with two new options, including a new form of fingerprint reader and a separate face-identification sensor. The former will reportedly exist under the display, a feature that’s also rumored to make a debut on the Samsung Galaxy S8 this spring. Apple may adopt technology from Synaptics that allows a fingerprint reader to exist, seemingly invisibly, underneath the display. A user can then tap the screen to verify his or her identity.
Maybe too soon for iPhone 8, though
The facial recognition aspect comes as a bit of a surprise, since we haven’t heard much in the way of that making its way to iPhones. Microsoft uses that sort of technology in Windows 10 phones and laptops, and Samsung also offered facial recognition on the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. It’s a convenient alternative to a fingerprint reader and may help the iPhone recognize users when the display isn’t powered on.
Kuo suggested that the fingerprint sensors are difficult to build into displays — again a bit contrary to the expected support in the Galaxy S8 — which means it may take a bit too perfect before we see it in a new iPhone. Keep in mind this is just hearsay from the supply chain, too, and can easily be scrapped. Also, Touch ID is branding, so Apple could just as easily keep that around even if it does swap out a home button for a fingerprint-reading display.