One of 68 newly granted Apple patents shows an alternative Touch ID configuration that allows for a full-size screen by putting the fingerprint scanning system on the device’s power button.
It’s a different approach than the one Apple is thought to have been pursuing for this year’s iPhone. While it’s widely acknowledged that Apple – and pretty much all smartphone makers – want to make room for a larger display by getting rid of the home button, where Touch ID is currently situated, many have been speculating that Apple’s aim is to integrate the fingerprint scanning system directly into the display itself. Indeed, there have been recent reports that this is proving to be extremely difficult from a technological standpoint, so much so that Apple may significantly delay the iPhone’s release.
The newly granted patent, as detailed by Patently Apple, would offer a pretty simple solution to that problem, moving Touch ID from the home button – which has itself been eliminated – to the power button on the top side of the device.
Of course, Apple has also filed patents for systems that would bring Touch ID into the display. Apple likes to cover its bases when it comes to IP, and this patent, filed in Q2 of 2015, is one of many that could point to numerous avenues that Apple has or has not pursued. It does offer a hint as to what options may be under consideration, though.
Source: Patently Apple