There may be a version of next year’s iPhone that will come equipped with an under-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, according to a recent report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News.
The report suggests that Apple representatives have arranged to meet with GIS, a Taiwanese manufacturer, to discuss the development of a future iPhone with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
The scanner would be Qualcomm’s ultrasonic sensor, similar to the one currently found in Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note10 smartphones, though there are indications that the version Apple will use may be a more advanced model capable of covering almost the entirety of the display, allowing for a larger scannable area.
Ultrasonic fingerprint scanners use high frequency sounds to generate a 3D impression of a fingerprint, while optical scanners rely on light from the smartphone’s display to produce a 2D image.
Rumours of Apple re-introducing Touch ID to work alongside Face ID to provide a multimodal form of biometric authentication and security have persisted for many months now — Apple even filed a patent relating to the tech this past October — and this latest report fits right into that narrative.
Touch ID made its debut in 2013’s iPhone 5s and was last seen in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, both released in 2017. It has since been replaced by the face scanning Face ID technology, which can be found in the latest iPhones today.
A number of smartphone manufacturers have also been exploring in-display technology over the past several months. Xiaomi filed a patent for an under-display camera module a few weeks ago, while Vivo actually launched the Vivo S5 smartphone last month with an under-display fingerprint scanner of its own.