Another day, yet another rumor regarding what Apple is going to do with the Touch ID of its upcoming iPhone 8. As of right now, it’s safe to assume that there is not a consensus regarding what Apple is going to do with the fingerprint scanner on iPhone 8.
For months now, the expectations have been that Apple would move the fingerprint scanner beneath the display. This way not only the Touch ID would remain on the front side of the device and Apple will also be able to achieve a display covering the whole front of the device. But the reports has so far been contradicting each other on whether or not Apple will stick to this plan.
Now a research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, Andy Hargreaves, details in his note to investors about what Apple’s upcoming OLED display model and what Apple is going to do with the Touch ID on it.
According to the analyst, if Apple fails to fit the Touch ID sensor beneath the display, as the company wants, it may eliminate the sensor from the device altogether. However, before doing that, Apple may simply delay the iPhone 8 launch to make up for the delay in production:
Likely options for Apple include a delay of production or elimination of fingerprint sensing on the OLED iPhone. We believe Apple continues to work on solving its optical fingerprint issues. If it’s able to solve the problems in the next month or so, it would likely place volume orders at that point. This would likely lead to a delay of the OLED iPhone launch, but we would not expect it to meaningfully affect volume for the cycle. If it’s not able to fix the problems in that time frame, Apple may be forced to eliminate fingerprint sensing from the OLED iPhone altogether.
The analyst believes that Apple’s suppliers designated to provide optical fingerprint module for the iOS devices are yet to receive firm orders for production, which he thinks means that the Cupertino company does not have the functionality working the way it wants up t this point.
It is not the first time that we are hearing speculations about Apple would be forced to make difficult choices moving forward. There have been reports related to production difficulties Apple is having for fitting the fingerprint sensor beneath the display. Some other rumors suggested that if the company fails to achieve mass production for the sensor, it has an alternate plan of moving the sensor on the back side of the iPhone 8 just like the Samsung Galaxy S8. An allegedly leaked schematics of the iPhone 8 also shows a mysterious hole right below the Apple logo.
One report in the last few months also suggested that Apple’s 3D sensing technology for its front-facing camera is ready for the prime time and that its verification functionality can replace the fingerprint sensor altogether. Hargreaves also believes that if the company is forced to remove the Touch ID, its 3D sensing production is right on track and can be used in place of fingerprint sensor:
Suppliers suggest that the solution is both fast and highly reliable, even in low-light scenarios or from odd angles. If this proves accurate, reliance solely on 3D sensing for biometric login and verification could be a viable and innovative replacement for the highly popular fingerprint sensor.
There is one thing common about all these reports and rumors i.e. Apple has options, even on of those is that Apple may ditch the fingerprint scanner altogether. The fingerprint verification has become one of the necessary features of the smartphones lately, so it would be interesting to see if Apple replaces it with something more innovative.