Apple has reportedly managed to successfully integrate Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology into the display of the iPhone 8, reveals a new report citing industry sources.
In-display fingerprint recognition is shaping up as the next big trend for flagship smartphones and both Apple and Samsung are rumored to implement it. Samsung reportedly wanted to launch the Galaxy S8 with in-display fingerprint authentication and teamed up with Synaptics to implement it, but ultimately ran out of time and ditched the plan rather than delay the smartphone's launch.
Samsung is still expected to launch the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 with a fingerprint scanner embedded into the display, and Apple will counter it with its iPhone 8 with in-display Touch ID authentication.
iPhone 8 With Touch ID In The Display
Chinese publication Economic Daily News (via Digitimes) cites industry sources from Apple supplier TSMC, which apparently confirmed at a Taipei technology convention that Apple successfully integrated the technology already.
TSMC reportedly talked about a number of design changes at the convention, including Apple's decision to remove the home button from its OLED iPhone. The company ditched the home button because it will use an optical fingerprint scanner embedded right into the display.
"It is not a tip but true that the new iPhone devices scheduled to be rolled out in the second half of 2017 will come without a home button," says Digitimes, citing Economic Daily News.
"Additionally, the new iPhone devices will also come with invisible infrared image sensors to enhance the functionality of high-pixel camera and to enable AR applications," it adds.
Before this report, rumors indicated that Apple struggled with low yield issues of its Touch ID fingerprint scanner embedded into the display. Speculated alternatives included ridding the 5.8-inch iPhone 8 of Touch ID altogether, moving the fingerprint scanner on the back of the smartphone, or delay the production (and, as a result, the release) of the handset.
Neither of these options seemed very good. A rear-mounted fingerprint scanner would likely not bode well with existing iPhone users, while a delayed launch would get fans on edge.
Redesigned OLED iPhone 8 With 18.5:9 Aspect Ratio
Should the latest report turn out to be accurate, it means that Apple managed to overcome the challenges and the OLED iPhone 8 is on track to launch with a new design and in-display fingerprint authentication this fall. Apple will be celebrating the iPhone's 10th anniversary this year, so it would make sense for the iPhone 8 to sport truly special and innovative features to mark the occasion.
Lastly, the TSMC sources reportedly added that Apple will adopt an 18.5:9 aspect ratio for its new iPhones, just like the new Samsung Galaxy S8, rather than the previous 16:9 aspect ratio.
Apple could also opt for extra biometric authentication features such as facial recognition or iris scanner to enhance Touch ID authentication.
The next-generation iPhone 8 is expected to boast a design overhaul with a sleek metal and glass construction, an edge-to-edge OLED display and no home button. The iPhone 8 should make its debut this fall, along with iterative upgrades of the current iPhones.
As always, however, it's best to take all rumors, leaks and reports with a grain of salt until official confirmation.