The upcoming iPhone 8’s fingerprint sensor is turning out to be one of the biggest unknowns about the smartphone. Most rumors have centered around the iPhone 8 featuring a Touch ID sensor that is embedded within the OLED touch display. Less frequent reports suggest that the Touch ID sensor will be moved to the rear of the device, like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.
However, well-regarded KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that another path is possible with the iPhone 8: the complete lack of Touch ID. That claim seems rather unfathomable at this point considering how Touch ID is so tightly integrated into iOS, iPhone/iPad security and the Apple Pay system. But Kuo cites “weakened scan-through performance” and the fact that “the full-screen design doesn’t work with existing capacitive fingerprint recognition” as reasons for Touch ID’s omission on the iPhone 8.
“As the new OLED iPhone won’t support under-display fingerprint recognition, we now do not expect production ramp-up will be delayed again (we previously projected the ramp-up would be postponed to late October or later),” said Kuo.
Instead, Apple is expected to opt for an entirely new method for authenticating the rightful owner of the device. Kuo says that the iPhone 8 will support 3D sensing via the front-facing camera for facial recognition, but it’s doubtful that such a system could be a complete replacement for Touch ID given how easily those systems can be spoofed.
Other features reportedly on tap for the iPhone 8 according to Kuo include 3GB RAM, either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, a 5.2-inch nearly bezel-less OLED display with a virtual home button, and improved speaker quality. It’s also said that the flagship smartphone will retain its Lightning port, although it will support USB-C power delivery. There is no mention, however, of rumored wireless charging support.
While the status of Touch ID is uncertain at this point, most of the leaks regarding the iPhone 8 seem to have nailed down the exterior design of the smartphone.