Once again, the Apple rumor mill is buzzing about the possibility of in-display Touch ID. The latest leaks suggest that an in-display fingerprint sensor will appear in the upcoming iPhone 13. The news comes courtesy of a team of Barclays analysts, who based their report on conversations with anonymous insiders working in the Apple supply chain.
In-display Touch ID has been a popular subject of speculation for several years. Some analysts expected to see the technology in last year’s iPhone 12, though Face ID ended up being the only biometric authentication option when the device was eventually announced. Ming-Chi Kuo, on the other hand, previously predicted that in-display Touch ID would come to the iPhone in 2021, which would prove to be correct should the technology arrive with the iPhone 13.
Apple did away with Touch ID in its flagship iPhone products with the release of the iPhone X in 2017. Touch ID has since returned in the iPhone SE, though that device placed the fingerprint sensor in the home button rather than under the screen. Separate rumors have also pointed to the presence of in-display Touch ID in the iPad Mini 6.
The Barclays team reported that the iPhone 13 will have a smaller front display notch in addition to the in-display fingerprint sensor. The notch would be made possible through improvements to Apple’s Face ID facial recognition system. The company’s LiDAR technology, on the other hand, would continue to be exclusive to iPhone Pro models.
That rumor is somewhat at odds with another rumor that suggested that the iPhone 13 would do away with the notch entirely, and would instead place the TrueDepth and FaceTime camera system directly under the display. That report was based on a supposed mock-up of the device, and broke with conventional wisdom in other ways. Most notably, the leaked design pointed to the presence of a USB-C connector, while others have described at a fully wireless device.