Apple is indeed working to bring Touch ID into the display of the next iPhone, but it’s proving to be a huge headache, suggests a new report from Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri.
As AppleInsider reports, Arcuri cites “his own supply chain field work” in making his assessment, suggesting a certain measure of validity. The memo asserts that Apple’s attempts to bring its fingerprint scanning authentication system into the display of the iPhone 8 is proving to be “the biggest bottleneck” in the production process, so much so that Apple may yet need to ditch the idea.
It’s a critical issue because Apple seems to be intent on establish a full-size display for its flagship new device, with a curved OLED display nearly eliminating the iPhone 8’s bezel. Arcuri’s memo says that Apple may resort to moving the Touch ID sensor to the rear of the device – an approach that Samsung has taken with its new smartphones – or ditching Touch ID entirely in favor of facial recognition, or even delaying the device’s production if it can’t refine its current system, whose “current yield rate… remains low” while Apple “seems unwilling to use other vendors’ products.”
Those other products are starting to emerge, with Goodix having announced the world’s first in-display fingerprint sensor at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and CrucialTec having just secured a patent for its own in-display solution. Whether Apple leads the charge or not, in-display fingerprint sensors appear to be in the pipeline for mobile devices.