When the first rumors emerged that Apple would be going with bezel-free flagship iPhone, many assumed that the company would be using a Touch ID fingerprint sensor embedded within the actual display panel. However, this wasn't the case, and Apple actually developed a facial scanning tech that worked in conjunction with the front camera as a new way to unlock the smartphone and to authorize payments. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has now said that his research shows Apple will be ditching Touch ID altogether from all 2018 iPhone models.
Kuo says that instead of Touch ID, Apple will move completely to Face ID as its authentication method because it perceives the tech as a competitive advantage over Android devices on the market today. Kuo has stated in the past that Apple is far enough ahead of Android device makers with its Face ID tech that it will take other companies years to catch up.
Kuo wrote in his note to investors, "We predict all new 2H18F iPhone models will likely abandon fingerprint recognition. We believe this change will allow all new models to realize a competitive advantage via differentiation, on the back of an integrated user experience of full-screen design and TrueDepth Camera/ Facial recognition/ Face ID/ AR applications."
Kuo also predicts that all 2018 iPhone models will have a full-screen design and small bezels on the front of the phones just like the iPhone X. If that is correct, it will mean that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are the end of the line for the design aesthetic that stated with 2014's iPhone 6 family.
Kuo also believes that the iPad Pro models coming next year will ditch Touch ID in favor of Face ID, although it's not clear if MacBook Pro computers will lose the functionality. The move to all Face ID could mean that the work Apple is putting in right now on a fingerprint scanner that will function under glass might end. It makes little sense to continue that work if all products are moving to Face ID.
The analyst believes that Android smartphone makers will begin to move towards 3D sensing tech rather than fingerprint scanning in an effort to compete more effectively with Cupertino. On the flip side, the Android market is pushing Apple to bring some features to its iPhone models. We reported last week that Apple was possibly adding support for the Apple Pencil to future iPhones to match the Samsung Galaxy Note series.