A social media posting of a supposed iPhone 8 schematic is prompting speculation that Apple will put the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the rear of its next major smartphone.
Posted on Twitter by Sonny Dickson, who TechCrunch characterizes as a “[r]eliable iPhone leaker”, the schematic depicts the rear chassis of an iPhone device, with a circular hole under the logo appearing to indicate where the fingerprint sensor-embedded home button would be. Such a design seems to validate a recent Cowen and Company investor memo indicating that Apple has been having serious difficulty integrating Touch ID into the display of the next iPhone, an effort about which there has been much speculation; the memo indicated that Apple may opt for a design moving the sensor to the rear of the device – a la Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 – or to simply delay production.
Still, the image offers no solid ground for jumping to conclusions. There’s nothing to indicate that the posted schematic is a genuine Apple design, nor that it’s the design Apple has opted to use for the iPhone 8. Apple is rumored to be working on two companion devices, marketed as upgraded versions of the iPhone 7, for which this design could be intended as well. Another odd aspect of it is that, given that Apple has secured patent protection for a system that would integrate Touch ID into the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone, it isn’t clear why it would instead opt for a separate home button if it’s going to move it to the rear of the device.
And, of course, Apple has offered no comment, as usual.