If the new iPhone X’s facial recognition system proves popular among consumers, Apple is likely to abandon Touch ID for future iPhone models, suggests a new note to investors from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The other issue is technical. There is now a considerable body of evidence – albeit of a speculative variety – that Apple tried to integrate its fingerprint scanning system into the display of the new iPhone, and was ultimately unable to do in time for its production schedule. Kuo asserts that the layered display design required by Apple’s 3D Touch technology has proven to be the main obstacle, and while “Apple may turn its focus to the development of under-display solution” if “Face ID fails to impress consumers,” the company “will still have to find ways to overcome the aforementioned technical issue.”
Kuo has a fairly strong track record in his Apple predictions. He was right in guessing that Apple was likely to unveil its Amazon Echo rival at this year’s WWDC, and at the beginning of the year he predicted that Apple would try to integrate a facial recognition system into its next flagship smartphone. But Kuo also was among the many expecting it to complement an in-display fingerprint sensor.
In any case, Apple’s decision may also depend somewhat on what the competition ends up doing. Apple’s rival, also anticipating in-display Touch ID, have reportedly been working on their own such solutions, and there is already some speculation that Samsung will offer in-display fingerprint scanning in next year’s Galaxy S9 smartphone. Consumers might appreciate having a greater range of biometric authentication options, and Apple may appreciate their preferences as it contemplates the features of next year’s iPhone models.