Whatever problems Apple may have been having embedding Touch ID into the iPhone 8’s display, it appears that it’s solved them!
According to a new report — citing Apple chip supplier TSMC — the next-gen iPhone will boast an optical fingerprint sensor to enable authentication directly by touching the screen.
TSMC reportedly indicated the news at the TSMC 2017 NA Technology Symposium held in Taipei on May 25. Provided it’s accurate, it’s huge for Apple — especially since the new Samsung Galaxy S8 was apparently unable to pull off the same technology, and instead clumsily moved the fingerprint scanner to the back of the handset at the last minute.
Seeing as a lot of the new iPhone 8’s features previously existed on other handsets (the rumored look of the device is very reminiscent of the LG G6), this would be a great way of Apple establishing itself as the innovator of a feature others will inevitably try and copy.
For a long time, however, it appeared to be in doubt. According to Apple analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company, the biggest bottleneck on the iPhone 8 was integrating an under-glass fingerprint sensor into the display. “The current yield rate of Apple’s in-house AuthenTec solution remains low and AAPL seems unwilling to use other vendors’ products,” he wrote back in April.
Like Samsung, Apple was rumored to be considering switching Touch ID to the back of its handset so as to keep the Home button-free edge-to-edge display up front.
Today’s report, citing TSMC, also reveals some other details about the iPhone 8. Reportedly it will come with an invisible infrared image sensor to enhance the functionality of its high-pixel camera, and enable augmented reality features. In addition, the screen ratio of the new iPhone displays will allegedly be adjusted to 18.5:9, instead of the previous 16:9.